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Daniel Webster: A Unique Daguerreotype On a Silk Welcome Ribbon
28 February 2015, Lot 42010
One of the most distinctive 19th century political badges we have encountered, and unquestionably a campaign item dating from Webster's third and final try for the presidency as an 1852 Whig hopeful. The same maker also produced similar items for Pierce and Scott, although those have incused lettering on the gilt brass shell frame. We have often wondered why the Webster versions were unmarked, but this piece may answer that question. If it was intended to be mounted on a ribbon with text, there was no need to add his name or other text to the frame itself. This may well be the only known Webster campaign ribbon. Sullivan & Fischer picture nothing from his 1836 or 1840 candidacies, and for 1852 they only list a memorial ribbon (Webster died on October 24, 1852) and a ribbon with no text which they speculate may either be a political or memorial issue. "It is difficult to understand," they wrote, "why Webster inspired so few ribbons, both in life and after his death." There is no doubt that the portrait and frame are as originally affixed to the ribbon. Condition is near-mint, with an odd rectangular halo of oxidation on the dag, not affecting Webster's portrait and obvious aging to the ribbon. A most intriguing item for hopefuls and ribbon collectors alike. 2.5" x 8".