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BUTTRE, John Chester (1821-1893, engraver)

Abraham Lincoln. President of the United States. Assassinated April 14th 1865

New York: Engraved and published by J.C. Buttre, 'Entered according to act of Congress AD 1864' [but 1865?]. Steel engraving by Buttre, after Anthony Berger and W. Momberger. Laid down, some expert repairs. Sheet size: 17 1/4 x 14 inches.

A fine portrait of Lincoln, taken from an image that his son Robert called 'the most satisfactory likeness' of the President

A fine half-length portrait of Abraham Lincoln, with his facsimile signature beneath. The President is shown in an oval with an integral engraved surround by New York illustrator William Momberger. The images in the borders (suggestive of many of Lincoln's policies and beliefs) portray the defeat of the rebellion, freed slaves, patriots, and peace between the North and South. The portrait is taken from a photograph that is attributed in the plate to Mathew Brady, but it is now known that the portrait was taken by Anthony Berger at Brady's studios in Washington on 9 February 1864.

According to Stauffer, the engraver Buttre was born in Auburn, New York in 1821. He studied under a Polish artist Hulaniski, and started in business as a wood-engraver. "In 1841 he removed to New York, became a line-engraver of reputation, and a considerable amount of his work of this period appeared in magazines. As a member of the firm of Rice & Buttre, and later under his own name, he established an extensive engraving business in New York."

Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History GLC 05239; cf. Hamilton & Ostendorf Lincoln in Photographs pp.176-177; cf. Holzer, Boritt & Neely The Lincoln Image (2001) p. 98 (incorrectly identified as the model for the five-dollar bill portrait); Cf. Horan Mathew Brady 143 (incorrectly identified as the model for the five-dollar bill portrait); Indiana Historical Society - Digital Image Collections P0406_293 (incorrectly identified as a lithograph; cf. F.T. Miller Portrait Life of Lincoln p.77; Stauffer, American Engravers Upon Copper and Steel, I, p.139.

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