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Mark Twain caricature self-portrait, 1902

Twain, Mark, 1835-1910


Item Information

Title: Mark Twain caricature self-portrait

Date: 1902

Physical Details: 1 artifact ; 14 x 08 cm., in leather folder 16 x 10 cm.

Description: Self-portrait is etched into a copper plate, which is fastened within a leather cover with ribbon ties.

Inscribed in plate beneath image: Done by truly yours, Mark Twain; N.B. I cannot make a good mouth, therefore leave it out; There is enough without it anyway; Done with the best ink, M.T.

Two handwritten notes are mounted within the leather enclosure. One is mounted on the top flap and reads, in pencil: M. Twain's 70th birthday dinner.

The other is affixed beneath the portrait and reads, in ink: John W. Alexander; I remember you well, sir! Mark Twain.

Outer leather cover is stamped in gilded letters: Mr. John W. Alexander.

This plate was given to Alexander and each of the 49 other guests as a souvenir at Twain's 67th birthday party at the Metropolitan Club in New York in November, 1902. Twain refers to the self-portrait in a Letter to the Editor in Harper's Weekly and in an article for Metropolitan magazine, 1903.

The image was published in Harper's Weekly, November 15, 1902.

Creator: Twain, Mark, 1835-1910

Forms part of: John White Alexander papers, 1775-1968, bulk 1870-1915

Rights Statement: U.S. public domain

Citation Information: Mark Twain. Mark Twain caricature self-portrait, 1902. John White Alexander papers, 1775-1968. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Digital ID: 12401