RARE LARGE PHOTOGRAPH OF PAINTER AND INVENTOR SAMUEL F.B. MORSE, INSCRIBED BY HIM
(MORSE, Samuel F.B.) CLAUDET, A. Photograph inscribed. London: A. Claudet, circa 1865. Salt paper print photograph measuring 10 by 12 inches; mounted, framed and presented in a shadow box with an original telegraph key, entire piece measures 22 by 22 inches. $12,500.
Large photograph of painter and inventor Samuel F.B. Morse, inscribed on the mount, "Samuel Finley Breese Morse, to his cousin Esther Elliott Finley. Po'keepsie June 1869." Framed with an original telegraph key.
Born in Massachusetts in 1791 and professionally trained at the Royal Academy in London, Morse initially gained fame as a portrait painter. It was only his later 30s that he developed an interest in the idea of long-distance communication, after finding out by letter of his wife's death and arriving home after she was already buried. In 1844, his famous first message—"What hath God wrought!"—sent from Washington D.C. to Baltimore is the beginning of the telegraph age and one of the signal moments in the making of the modern world. The photograph is from the studio of Antoine Claudet, whose studio moved to 107 Regent Street in London in 1851, where he continued to practice until his death in 1867; he was named "Photographer-in-ordinary" to Queen Victoria in 1854.
A few slight scratches to surface. Rare and desirable inscribed. Beautifully presented.