William McKinley Large Die Proof Engraving on india BEP, G.F.C. Smillie 1898


Large die presidential engraved portrait of William McKinley by G.F.C. Smillie. This was utilized on the very large 11″ x 14″ prints sold by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing until about 1950. Today a smaller 9 x12″ version is still available from the US Mint. Actual size of engraving is approximately 4″ x 5″. Vignette measures approximately 5″ x 5″ on India paper. This is a progress proof from 1898. Smillie’s McKinley portrait was widely chastised by the art critics of the day who complained that the engraving did not show any bone structure in the President’s cheek, jaw or nose. It was as if, one critic moaned, the President’s features had been modeled out of a bar of soap. While another admitted that the subject himself did not help the artist any with his flaccid and unseemly features.

Note: this is an ORIGINAL nineteenth century die proof; not a reproduction or contemporary print. Your satisfaction is guaranteed.

Additional information




clipped corner, hole, crease


G. F. C. Smillie




5” x 5”

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