Monday is the last day to bid on The Kaplan Daguerreotype of Abraham Lincoln. The starting bid is $5 million, which "will seem trifling compared to its realizable value after confirmation by the Lincoln scholarship community."
Lincoln scholar the late Professor Elton Trueblood had no doubt the young man of the daguerreotype was Lincoln. On the other hand I am aware of several well known and influential Lincoln authorities who have declared the opposite view: Illinois State Historian Thomas F. Schwartz, and former President of the Lincoln Group of New York, Richard Sloan.If you're hesitant to fork over such a large sum for a portrait lacking provenance and authentication, don't worry. The website offers both a made-up history of the picture, and a plastic surgeon's professional opinion that it is indeed Lincoln. The doctor notes that Abe "underwent a noticeable change in his physical appearance beginning in January 1841 as a result of a grave emotional crisis," which explains why the daguerreotype looks nothing like him.
To my knowledge there has never been a more controversial subject amongst Lincoln scholars as this matter. Accordingly, it seems fitting and proper that all the known evidence (both pro and con) should be put up on the Internet for all to see. The analyses can be examined at www.lincolnportrait.com.
(Thanks to Sharon Sergeant for sending this item my way.)