Scarce original 5 x 7 (oval) albumen portrait on a 6.75 x 8.75 mount, the full-length image, originally taken by Julian Vannerson in 1864, depicting Lee in dress uniform, his DeVisme presentation sword given to him by the ladies of Baltimore in one hand and his gloves in the other, signed in ink on the image “R. E. Lee.” Matted and framed to an overall size of 14.5 x 17.5. In fair to good condition, with scattered emulsion losses and abrasions to image (mainly to background), light water spotting (touching face, body, and signature; not affecting legibility), scattered toning and soiling, and subtle feathering of ink. The signature is otherwise dark and bold. Lee is quite elusive in signed images of this size.
An impressive image of Lee, taken during the lull before the start of Grant’s bloody spring offensive in 1864. Of only eight photographs of Lee known to have been taken during the Civil War, the present is the only full standing portrait. “The standing view is especially notable in that Lee is wearing both his military sash and his dress sword–the only time he was ever photographed in his sash” (Meredith, The Face of Robert E. Lee, p. 40). Lee disliked sitting for photographs, which explains the paucity of wartime views. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.