Large and Unique Signed Sepia Composite Photograph Combining Five Images Taken at Several Stages During FDR’s Lifetime SOLD

Signed by Franklin D. Roosevelt

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Item: 12513
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ROOSEVELT, FRANKLIN D. (1882-1945). Thirty-second president of the United States. SP. (“Franklin D. Roosevelt”). 1p. Oblong Folio (Approximately 14¾ x 9¼ inches). N.p., N.d. A unique signed sepia composite photograph by Brown Bros. that combines five images of the president at various stages of his life against the background of bookshelves from his Hyde Park library. Broadly signed across the light portion of the image.

Roosevelt was born in the Hyde Park, New York, at his family’s estate, Springwood. The estate continued to be his home throughout his life and, as the “summer White House,” was the site of important meetings with foreign dignitaries. The Springwood library housed Roosevelt’s many collections, including books, autographs, stamps, bird eggs and nests of Dutchess County, maritime paintings and prints, ship models, coins, and campaign buttons.

Our unusual, and perhaps unique, photograph shows a very young FDR in a sailor suit next to a slightly older youthful portrait and an image dating from his time as Secretary of the Navy under President Wilson. Two additional images show an older, smiling Roosevelt, one of which is holding a pipe and the other seated at a desk.

The lower right corner bears the copyright of artist and illustrator George Willard Bonte, author of the 1936 book America Marches Past, a pictorial review of America through the years, for which our photograph was likely created. An accompanying letter from Harry Collins at Brown Bros. stock photo agency indicates that Bonte commissioned the agency to create the photo montage for his history book and “that there were not many made up, possibly only one.” Bonte worked as an art director and manager for Outing Magazine, the New York Herald, Selznick Pictures Corporation, and Warner Brothers Motion Pictures. Wear along the edges with corner creases. In very good condition and rare!

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