1864 Abraham Lincoln's Seth Kinman Elkhorn Chair Cdv Photo California Hunter
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1864 Abraham Lincoln's Seth Kinman Elkhorn Chair Cdv Photo California Hunter:
Very Rare, original, 1864, CDV Photograph of Abraham Lincoln’s Elk Horn Chair presented to the President by its maker Seth Kinman – nationally famous Californian Hunter & Trapper, Western Frontiersman, Indian Fighter, Chair maker, and “friend” of Abraham Lincoln – taken by Alexander Gardner with Gardner’s Studio backmark.
The Photograph itself measures approx. 2 1/8” by 3 1/4” and is mounted on its original, gilt border, square corner, Card Mount (the mount measures 2 3/8” by 4”). The Image carries an 1864 copyright notice by Seth Kinsman himself and is titled on the card mount below the Photo “Elk Horn Chair Presented by Seth Kinsman, California Hunter To President Lincoln Nov. 26, 1864”. The photographer’s mark on the reverse features an image of the U.S. Capitol building with text above and below that reads in part “Alex. Gardner / Photographer to the Army of the Potomac…”.
The Image offered here depicts the beautiful and elaborate Elk Horn Chair which Kinman personally presented to President Abraham Lincoln at 10 a.m. on Saturday, November 26, 1864. Kinman also presented Lincoln with a fiddle made from the skull and a rib taken from his favorite mule and played the instrument for the President. Much to the amusement of Lincoln and other spectators, he played “Essence of Old Virginia” and “John Brown” on the bones of the mule. Lincoln said that if he could play the fiddle he would ask him for it, but since he could not, the fiddle would be better off in Mr. Kinman's hands. Within three weeks, Lincoln stated that he would prefer to eat Kinman's chair, antlers and all, than to appoint a certain office-seeker. The following April, Kinman marched in President Lincoln's funeral cortege in Washington. Kinman was allegedly in Ford's Theater the night of the assassination and witnessed the murder.
Seth Kinman (September 29, 1815 – February 24, 1888) was an early settler of Humboldt County, California, a hunter based in Fort Humboldt, a famous chair maker, and a nationally recognized entertainer. He stood over 6 ft (1.83 m) tall and was known for his hunting prowess and his brutality toward bears and Indians. Kinman claimed to have shot a total of over 800 grizzly bears, and, in a single month, over 50 elk. He was also a hotel keeper, barkeeper, and a musician who performed for President Lincoln on a fiddle made from the skull of a mule.
Known for his publicity seeking, Kinman appeared as a stereotypical mountain man dressed in buckskins on the U.S. east coast and selling cartes de visites of himself and his famous chairs. The chairs were made from elk horns and grizzly bear skins and given to U.S. Presidents. Presidents so honored include James Buchanan, Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Johnson, and Rutherford B. Hayes. He may have had a special relationship with President Lincoln, appearing in at least two of Lincoln's funeral corteges, and claiming to have witnessed Lincoln's assassination.
Click Here to read more About the Fascinating and “Legendary” Life of Seth Kinman.
This rare and original, period, Albumen CDV Photograph of Seth Kinman is in very good to excellent condition. The Photo itself exhibits sharp focus and good contrast and tonality although it is just a bit light. There are a couple of small spots of foxing at the top right hand corner of the image but otherwise it is clean and crisp. The Card Mount is sound and intact with some soiling and a few spots of foxing on the back but well preserved with sharp corners.
A very rare and wonderful, 1864 Alexander Gardner Photo of President Abraham Lincoln’s Elkhorn Chair presented to the President by its maker, the legendary California Hunter and Trapper Seth Kinman and a fantastic addition to any collection!!!
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