HANDSOME LARGE CALLIGRAPHIC PORTRAIT LITHOGRAPH OF LINCOLN CREATED FROM THE EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION
LINCOLN, Abraham. Proclamation of Emancipation. Iowa: W.H. Pratt, 1865. Large lithographic broadside, measuring 12 by 15 inches; matted and framed, entire piece measures 16 by 20 inches. $3800.
Original large calligraphic portrait lithograph of Abraham Lincoln created from the text of the Emancipation Proclamation, with portions of the text highlighted to create a portrait of Lincoln clearly visible within the text, designed by W.H. Pratt.
On January 1, 1863, Lincoln reportedly paused before signing the final Emancipation Proclamation, saying, "I never, in my life, felt more certain that I was doing right than I do in signing this paper." It declared that "all persons held as slaves… are and henceforward shall be free." The Emancipation Proclamation is "one of the strangest and most important state papers ever issued by an American President… It was a statement of intent rather than a valid statute, and it was of doubtful legality… But in the end it changed the whole character of the war and, more than any other single thing, doomed the Confederacy to defeat" (Ketchum & Catton, 252). "Contemporary with the Spencerian school of penmanship there developed what was known as calligraphic portraits. The likeness of an individual was reproduced by writing in such a fashion that the main features of the subject were made to stand out in bold relief, yet no lines were written which did not appear in the given text… The Emancipation Proclamation written out in free hand has been most often used as a basis for the Lincoln portrait… Possibly the most artistic of all these calligraphic portraits was one made by W.H. Pratt of Davenport, Iowa" (Lincoln Lore, Lincoln National Life Foundation).
Marginal pinhole, a few tiny spots of marginal foxing. Near-fine condition.