University Archives

Lot 277

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Rare Original Theodore Roosevelt Stereograph Photo Likely Taken on the Eve of West Wing Completion

An original stereograph depicting 26th U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) working at his desk in the White House. The "Perfec-Stereograph" view of Roosevelt, #9901, was produced by H.C. White & Co. (North Bennington, Vermont) sometime in 1902 and patented on April 14, 1903. The copyright information is printed along the edges recto; the photo caption is translated into French, Spanish, German, Swedish, and Russian above a lengthy biographical description of Roosevelt verso. Minor wear to the corners of the cardboard mount and isolated loss at top verso. Else near fine and very sturdy. 7" x 3.5."

President Roosevelt, dressed in a black morning coat and pinstriped trousers, is depicted seated at an elaborate Jacobean Revival desk somewhere in the White House. We speculate that this H.C. White & Co. photo sitting likely occurred just before the construction of the new West Wing was complete in early November 1902. Starting in 1903, President Roosevelt worked at the famous Roosevelt desk, a Federal style mahogany double-pedestal desk designed by Charles McKim. The new desk was installed in the recently finished Executive Office of the West Wing. (The Oval Office was not constructed until the administration of Roosevelt's successor, William H. Taft, in 1909.)

A stereograph, also known as a stereogram or stereo view, is comprised of a pair of nearly identical photographs mounted side by side. When magnified through a viewing apparatus, the double image appears as one three-dimensional image.

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.


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September 30, 2020 10:30 AM EDT

Westport, CT, US

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