The oldest known original photo of a U.S. president will go up for auction at Sotheby’s on October 5th, the auction house has revealed. The daguerreotype is a black and white silver-plate portrait of John Quincy Adams, who is featured sitting in a chair as a Massachusetts congressman following his term as president.
The photo was originally gifted by Adams to Vermont congressman Horace Everett, who remained in possession of the photo until the time of his death.
Though the photo had remained at Everett’s house since it was first gifted to the congressman, it was only recently realized to be a photo of Adams. The image was taken by photographer Philip Haas in Washington DC, according to journal entries made by Adams, who described visiting the photographer’s studio twice in March of 1843. The previous oldest original portrait of a president was also of Adams, taken only a handful of months later in August 1843.
The back of the framed portrait features Everett’s name, as well as the initials ‘J. Q. Adams,’ the date ‘Feb. 1843,’ and a bookplate that reads, ‘Presented by J.Q.A to his Kinsman H.E. 1843.’ The auction house has the portrait listed with an estimated sale price of $150,000 to $250,000.