J.C. Buttre

Abraham Lincoln

Engraving, 1865.
Original photograph by M.B. Brady.
Engraved and published by J.C. Buttre c. 1865.
Border designed by W. Momberger.
Image: 13 x 9 3/4″
Paper: 19 x 15″
Stains and tears along edges of paper.

Inventory Number: 10367
Portrait of Abraham Lincoln.

John Chester Buttre (10 June 1821 Auburn, New York – 2 December 1893 Ridgewood, New Jersey), was an American steel-plate engraver and lithographer, responsible for some 3,000 engraved portraits of American political, naval and military personalities. He published “The American Portrait Gallery” in 3 volumes (1880–81) with text by his daughter, Lillian C. Buttre.

He received his first drawing tuition from Hulaniski, a Polish exile living in Auburn. Later he appled himself to the study of portrait-painting. He was, however, better suited to drawing and wood-engraving. His work improving, he carried on the business of general engraver, producing card-plates, wood-cuts for newspapers and engraving silver-ware.

Arriving in New York in 1841, he devoted himself to steel-plate engraving, at which he soon became successful, his work appearing in many magazines and newspapers. He produced a widely acclaimed full-length portrait of President James Buchanan in 1858, together with a full-length portrait of Martha Washington. His Civil War work included sentimental images such as “The Empty Sleeve,” “Only a Little Brook” and “Prayer in Camp,” all of which sold well.