1. Creator/Author:
  2. Alexander Hesler (2)

Hesler Lincoln Whole Plate Ivorytype

Alexander Hesler
Illinois, Sangamon County, Springfield
Origin Date:
paper, print
overall: 12 1/2 in x 10 3/4 in
Item ID:
Holding Institution:
Lincoln Financial Foundation Collection, courtesy of the Indiana State Museum
Available for Viewing:


This hand-colored albumen photographic print is printed on waxed paper that has been dry tinted from the reverse. The image depicts Abraham Lincoln sitting in profile facing the viewer's right. Lincoln is clean shaven, with messy hair. He wears a black suit, vest, black bow tie, and white collared shirt. The background is dark. The photograph has only a slight tint in the face and eyes. The oval photograph is matted with a circa 1856 rare plate brass mat, etched with a flower and leaf pattern around the opening. In early June of 1860 Alexander Hesler (a renowned daguerreotypist and photographer) created two photographs of Abraham Lincoln. These were created on 8x10 inch glass plates in Springfield shortly after Lincoln received the Republican nomination for President. These photographs have been reproduced thousands of times since. Per source file documentation this photograph of Abraham Lincoln is a rare example of Alexander Hesler's art. It had been in Springfield as long as it had been known and believed to have been given to Abraham Lincoln by the photographer himself. For many years it had been in the personal collection of James T. Hickey, old friend and curator of the Lincoln Collection at the Illinois State Historical Library in Springfield. This picture is further believed to have been given by Mr. Lincoln to his close friend, James H. Matheny, since Mrs. Lincoln did not approve of the likeness because she disliked the disordered condition of her husband's hair. Part of The Lincoln Financial Foundation Collection, courtesy of the Indiana State Museum