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2020-11-12 17:27:31
MESERVE, Frederick Hill (1865-1962)
Collection of Glass Plate Negative Prints of Abraham Lincoln and Civil War Figures
1912. Known as "America's first great photograph collector," this pioneering figure championed the preservation of historical photographs, traveling the country to rescue original glass plate negatives from certain destruction; so little appreciated and understood were they that he occasionally found them tossed aside in barns and sometimes even reused as glass panes in windows. Meserve managed to save countless original negatives created by Mathew B. Brady, Alexander Gardner and other seminal photographers from certain destruction. To the Lincoln images he assigned numbers ("Meserve numbers") still in use today. Meserve produced small format (2" X 3") prints from many of his negatives for a series of small print-run booklets, today highly desirable and sought after. For special occasions and friends he would produce large format prints using the original glass plate negatives. The immediacy of these first-generation prints is startling -- we've grown so accustomed to seeing umpteenth-generation reproductions of these portraits in various books that prints made off the original negative practically jump off the page. The blacks are black, the whites are white, and the overall clarity of the image brings out every detail -- a far cry from the washed-out reproductions seen elsewhere. Ralph G. Newman (1912-98) founded the noted Abraham Lincoln Book Shop in Chicago just before World War Two, changing from a general used book shop (House of Books, Inc.) to a specialist dealer at the urging of his friend Carl Sandburg. He befriended Frederick Hill Meserve and worked with him on a … [Click Below for Full Description]
Bookseller: Main Street Fine Books & Mss, ABAA [Galena, IL, U.S.A.]
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