The American sculptor Leonard W. Volk (1828-1895), whose early studies were funded, ironically, by Stephen Douglas, the Illinois politician who would famously debate Abraham Lincoln for the U.S. Senate in 1858, made several plaster casts of Lincoln's hands in 1860. Lincoln was then on the campaign trail for the presidency, and his right hand was noticeably swollen from the persistent handshaking of the campaign--a distinction evident in the cast. The Museum's sculpture is a reproduction of a cast from 1886, made by Volk from his original cast of 1860. The item in Lincoln's hand is a broom handle-Volk had him clutch it to serve as a placement for what would be a rolled document or other object in the finished full-length statue that he was determined to create. Produced in cooperation with the New York Historical Society.
Made of bonded bronze (cold cast). "Cold-Cast" bronze (also referred to as "bonded bronze") is a product made from resin mixed/blended with 100% pure bronze powder to give it the appearance of the true bronze. It looks just as a "lost wax" bronze object does - both are bronzes. The cost for making a "lost wax" bronze statue is much greater than that of a "cold-cast" bronze statue. A sculpture made of "lost wax" bronze would be several times more expensive then made in cold cast bronze. Yet in either of the above materials, the casts (the final product made out of the mold) are made using the same rubber mold; which is taken from the original sculpture. Thus, the final result is exactly the same bronze sculpture, only made in a different bronze material. With the cold cast we still achieve the same bronze effect at much lower cost and thus is more affordable.
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