A previously unknown pre-Civil War ambrotype that is believed to picture Abraham Lincoln, his wife Mary Todd Lincoln and her sister Elizabeth Todd Edwards will be up for auction at Nest Egg Auction Gallery on July 28. It would be the only known photograph taken of Lincoln and his wife together.
Experts say the image shows Lincoln standing and wearing a broad-brimmed stovepipe hat. Mary Todd and her sister are positioned in front. Facial-recognition experts have used a variety of forensic techniques and computerized analysis to verify the identity of the people in the picture.
The most striking similarity to Abraham Lincoln in this ambrotype photograph is the left hand shown draped down. It is a known fact that Abraham Lincoln suffered from Marfans Syndrome. A close examination of this hand indicates that it is of a person suffering from this ailment.
A special page on the Nest Egg Auctions Web site nesteggauctions.com/lincoln.php allows users to view known photos of President Lincoln and his wife superimposed over the ambrotype image, showing the resemblance.
Following closely on the heels of daguerreotypes and pre-dating tintypes, the ambrotype process involved creating a negative image on a sheet of glass. The glass was sandwiched into a wood or metal case against a black background that resulted in the image appearing to be a positive when viewed from the front. The process was in widespread use from the early 1850s to the early 1860s.
Abraham Lincoln married Mary Todd in 1842.
The auctioneers state that they will not consider bids under $100,000.