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Object Name Casting
Date 1860-1863
Title [Cast of Abraham Lincoln's right hand]
Description Plaster cast of the right hand of Abraham Lincoln, after an original by sculptor Leonard Volk. The hand is depicted as clenched around a stick. There are a few flaws (bubbles) in the plaster around the fingernails, and a few dark brown spots on the surface.
(Keywords: United States, President)
Acquisition Gift of Mrs. Otis Kidwell Burger and Dr. Allyn Kidwell
Ownership and History This copy was made after an original cast of Lincoln's hand that was made in 1860. It was presented to the Staten Island Historical Society by descendants of abolitionist leader Sydney Howard Gay of Staten Island. According to Gay's descendants, President Lincoln gave the cast to Gay around 1860-1863 as a gift in gratitude for his support of the Emancipation Proclamation.

The original casts of Lincoln's hands were made by Chicago sculptor Leonard Volk during Lincoln's first campaign for the presidency, at the nominee's home in Springfield, Illinois. Those original casts are now in the collection of the Smithsonian Institution.
Earliest Date 1860
Latest Date 1863
Lexicon Sub-category Art
Associated People Gay, Sydney Howard
Catalog Number 86.022.0005
Support Acknowledgment Online Collections Database record made possible by the Staten Island Historical Society, May 2013.
Legal Status Images and text in this database are copyrighted by the Staten Island Historical Society unless otherwise noted. Items represented here are from the collections of the Staten Island Historical Society. Materials reproduced for personal non-commercial use must credit the Staten Island Historical Society. Commercial licensing is available.