View Full Version : Goodwill Robert E. Lee Find
09-06-2011, 03:25 PM
09-06-2011, 03:40 PM
Wow - it's great that the money is going to a worthy cause as well.
Reminds me of an old commercial where a guy's at a yard sale and picks up a bat carved with "Babe Ruth" and the the aged farsighted seller says "yeah it's an old bat signed by the player, I think his name was Bob Roth"...the buyer just forks over a wad of bills and walks away in a daze with the old guy yelling at him for his change...
09-06-2011, 04:03 PM
It is good to see Marse Rob't still helping out "The Cause"
09-06-2011, 05:53 PM
A mystery photo! Let's have some fun.
Adam B. Walter did a lithograph of Lee that was used to raise funds for a monument. The author of an excellent work on Confederate images shows it here (http://books.google.com/books?id=VWcKEtedGHIC&pg=PA158), and says it's based on a photo by Julian Vannerson.
Here's (http://www.sonofthesouth.net/leefoundation/robert-e-lee-pictures/robert-e-lee-picture.htm) the standard Vannerson photo. Pretty close to the lithograph, but hold on.
Compare the lithograph to the Vannerson photo, and to the newly discovered photo in the article (linked directly here (http://cmsimg.tennessean.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=DN&Date=20110903&Category=NEWS01&ArtNo=309020095&Ref=AR&MaxW=300&Border=0&Goodwill-s-Robert-E-Lee-find-sparks-bidding-war).) I'll wait while you get all three called up.
Okay, now look at his necktie. In both the lithograph and the newly discovered photo, his beard is short and his necktie is low, so they don't touch. The necktie is skewed so the side toward his ear is level and the other side angles down. His shirt collar is visible on both sides, not just on the near side, and it comes high up at the back of his neck. There's no strip of necktie showing between his shirt collar and his coat collar.
None of those things are in the Vannerson photo.
I think the newly discovered tintype is a copy of the original photo that Walter's lithograph was based on.
Was there another Vannerson photo which the author of the Confederate Image book is referring to, besides the standard one? Or did the author just think the lithographer changed Lee's collar around, not realizing there was another photo in existence?
Anyway, I believe that gives a bit more context to the photo, so the next step is finding the original photo Walter used, if it still exists. Otherwise, this is a cool copy of it.
09-06-2011, 08:21 PM
I'm not a Lee scholar, but you do get used to seeing the same photos of the man over a lifetime of reading about the Civil War. I've never seen this tintype before. Lee's face looks a bit fuller than we're used to seeing. It's a great picture. Gee, just when you think you've seen all sides of a guy...
09-06-2011, 10:04 PM
Does anyone here have a copy of Roy Meredith's "The Face of Robert E. Lee" from Scribners, 1947? It's a good collection of the known images of Lee at the time of publication, though possibly not complete. I have a copy at home, but I won't be there for a few days. I wonder if this image is to be found there?
Jeff Davis Artillery
09-06-2011, 10:57 PM
'$4 suggested retail price'. Man, wouldn't that be something.
09-12-2011, 10:20 PM
Roy Meredith, in his 1947 "Face of Robert E. Lee in Life and Legend", says " . . . in 1864, . . .Richmond photographer J. W. Davies, made this picture. . . .It was a favorite with the General and with Mrs. Lee; they gave away many autographed copies to solicitous admirers." (p. 54). The "slightly disordered tie" in the image Meredith is discussing is almost identical to the one in the Goodwill find. The image as printed in "The Face of Robert E. Lee" is correctly oriented, and the Goodwill picture is reversed, as one would expect with an original tin- or ambrotype of the period. While I won't say conclusively they are the same image, I'm satisfied that they are. I don't have a scanner, or I'd post a picture for comparison. However, I'm sure y'all ought to be able to find one.
Jeff Davis Artillery
09-12-2011, 10:33 PM
Here's the Davies picture you're talking about, I think:
Looks like you nailed it.
How'd they get the coat to turn out darker than the background and the stars in the tintype, though?
Powered by vBulletin™ Version 4.1.3 Copyright © 2013 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.