Sotheby’s to Auction Earliest Known Photo of a US President

Sotheby’s will offer the earliest photograph of an American president to come to market in many years during its Photographs sale in New York on October 5. The daguerreotype portrait of John Quincy Adams (1767–1848), the sixth US president and son of the second president, was realised by German-born daguerreotypist Philip Haas in 1843. It will be offered with an estimate of $150,000–250,000.

According to Sotheby’s, the photograph comes directly from the descendants of Horace Everett (1779–1851), a colleague of Adams who served in the House of Representatives as a congressman from Vermont from 1829 to 1843. He was present at Adams’s second sitting with Haas and received the photograph as an inscribed gift from Adams. 

Not only is the recently discovered plate the only one currently known to have survived from the Haas sessions, it is also one of the earliest American daguerreotypes to come to market. Sotheby’s states that the photograph is an “invaluable document” that “crystallises a remarkable moment in the history of photography and American politics.”


Posted on Monday, 28 August 2017
in Latest News