EVELYN NESBITT - ORGINAL PHOTOGRAPH

Davis & Sanford. EVELYN NESBIT - ORGINAL PHOTOGRAPH. Silver print, 9 3/8 x 7 3/8 inches, 240 x 188 mm., affixed to a mount. Photgrapher's stamp on the back of the mount, along with an annotation in pencil asserting that this photo was used in the Thaw trial. In very good condition aside from chipping at the edges of the mount, and the usual oxidization of the silver on the surface of the print. Evelyn Nesbit (1884-1967) was one of the central figures in one of the most notorious scandals and murders in New York City's history. Her husband, coal mining heir Harry K. Thaw, shot and killed the prominent architect Stanford White in 1906, following a theatrical performance at the original Madison Square Garden, a theater which White had designed. White had been Nesbit's lover before her marriage to Thaw, and Thaw remained jealous, unconvinced that the relationship had ended. The first trial resulted in a hung jury, the second in a verdict of insanity, and the third in a finding that Thaw was sane. Thaw and Nesbit divorced, and both lived long, dissolute lives. There is a very nice article in Smithsonian magazine, February 1999, which summarizes the story in the context of a collection of portrait photographs of Nesbit taken by Rudolph Eickmeyer Jr., and donated by him to the Smithsonian. Our image of Nesbit, Davis & Sanford reveals at once what Nesbit's appeal was. Davis & Sanford, now best known as a leading maker of photographic equipment (primarily tripods), was also a well-regarded family owned photography studio; we have found numerous references to celebrity photos with their imprint.