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Marcus Miller Pomeroy 1880's engraving/picture - Original?

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Photographs2879 of 4489WWII CoupleParisian Photographs...mid 1940s
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Posted 6 years ago

(52 items)

I had visited an Antique Barn for several weeks in a row, just looking and fascinated with the history. They sold mostly vintage house ware items (handles, lamps, doors, window frames, etc.) but I kept looking at this picture sitting in the corner. I took a photo of the signature/picture and researched who he was….and wholly guacamole:

During the Civil War, Pomeroy gained national notoriety for his vicious anti-Lincoln editorials and pronouncements. Although Pomeroy's vivid and vindictive journalism gave the Democrat a large circulation during the early years of the war, his Copperheadism forced it into virtual failure by 1865
I also read that when president Lincoln was assassinated that M.M.Pomeroy was assumed to be the main man behind the shooting and a lynch mob was set out to hunt him down. He survived.
I took this picture into an art dealer who has been in the business for over 40 years and he verified that everything looks original from the hand-carved nails to the pitted glass and the signature which appears to be a darker ink than the engraving, which possibly indicates that it is an original signature. Everything from this picture indicates that it was produced in the mid 1800’s.

I have called The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Memorial Library and spoke to the Historian and emailed him pictures. I haven’t heard back (2 weeks). I have also talked to the Wisconsin Museum who gave me advice on how to care for Mr. Pomeroy, but legally they are not able to offer advice or referrals.

I would really love to verify that this is an original, and if so – this is a very significant piece of American history. I am needing help in knowing who to contact. It’s not an option for me to pay to have it appraised. Please direct me towards a person who can help me to verify the authenticity. I would be very interested in knowing the value and passing it forward to a historical society.

Much thanks,


Mystery Solved


  1. rniederman rniederman, 5 years ago
    I've been looking at this for a bit and haven't come to any conclusions but do have an opinion. This appears to be a promotional item or engraving for a newspaper article. As background, Gurney was a prominent daguerrian artist in the early days of photography. A Pomeroy portrait (daguerreotype) was the inspiration for this engraving by Perine. Engravings of daguerreotypes were a common method of reproducing images for the public. This is because daguerreotypes themselves are unique and do not have a negative from which reproductions can be made. Therefore, copying an image was often done by either rephotographing it at a later time to make a negative (which makes for fuzzy images) or recreating as an engraving. Given that engravings were meant for the public at large, an image title and signature are usually reproduced as well. The other possibility is that Pomeroy signed individual images. An actual signature would likely leave an impression in the paper with some ink feathering in the fibers. A printed signature would be crisp and sharp with the ink consistent (no variations from varying signature pressure). What do you see under a magnifying glass? Otherwise, an original signature would definitely be nice.
  2. RhondaCorvallis RhondaCorvallis, 5 years ago
    Thank you rniederman for the information, very interesting. I did take a look (and a picture) with a USB microscope and there doesn't appear to be any feathering, and it doesn't look like there is any variation regarding impressions on the paper. It would seem that the signature is part of the engraving....Now I know. This has been a great educational experience on signatures - thanks for that.


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