History Abraham abe Lincoln Volk bust life mask full size 1860 www.neo-mfg.comby NEO-MFG
SIZE Life size HAND MADE IN THE USA -
A reproduction form one of the highest quality masks available.
This was not a replica from a bronze cast that did not have the level of detail that the original plaster casts had.
This is an amazing cast in high detail
Abraham Lincoln: His Famous Life Mask Originally Cast by Leonard Volk in 1860, with Superb Family Provenance. Over the decades literally hundreds, if not thousands, of varieties of "one off" copies of this iconic mask were made in various media, most unofficial.
The quality of the images degenerated with repeated castings, and some featured "improvements" such as to the eye sockets and ears.
But with first generation castings unobtainable, what contemporary collectors seek are the earliest and most faithful castings.
Here we are fortunate to offer what may be the earliest such version in plaster
For the most exhaustive and authoritative discussion of the various generations of castings we refer the reader to the marvelous article titled "The Animal Himself" by Professor John Hoffmann, originally appearing in a 2021 issue of the Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association, and reproduced along with our web site presentation of this lot with the kind permissions of the publishers. However for the sake of brevity we will concentrate on the lineage of the example offered here.
Leonard Volk had retained the original molds, which ultimately found their way to the National Museums in Washington, but in the early 1870s he made four direct casts. One, which would come to be known as the artist's copy, he kept, while giving the others to his son Douglas, also an artist.
One of those was used in 1886 to create a serious of casts in bronze and plaster, made under the supervision of the noted sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens, to be sold to raise the funds to purchase the original molds for the Smithsonian. Ultimately 33 such subscriber copies were made, each individualized with the name of the purchasing benefactor.
The Volks would closely guard their own original 1870s casting. Some authorized copies were made in bronze in 1886 by Chicago foundryman Jules Bercham. But when approached about the possibility of making copies in plaster, the answer was always no.
Brand new, hydrostone, . White Marble faux, hand made in USA, custom color finishes available.