After President Lincoln died, there was a huge demand for photos of him lying in his casket. However, the army didn't allow any photos to be taken. As a result, a lot of fake Lincoln death photos appeared. I've posted about this before
, and I have an example of a fake Lincoln death photo
in the Hoax Photo Database.
Mary Curtis just sent me an old newspaper clipping describing some Lincoln death photos owned by her grandmother. Unfortunately, no one knows where the photos are now. According to the clipping, she kept them "in a bank vault in a nearby town."
Actually, reading over the clipping, it's not clear to me whether Mary's grandmother owned photographs or "mourning pictures" (i.e. drawings). The first picture, showing Mrs. Lincoln kneeling before her husband, who is surrounded by his cabinet members, is clearly an illustration, not a photograph.
The second picture seems to be a photograph. The caption says that it shows Mrs. Lincoln standing in front of her husband's coffin. But is that really Mrs. Lincoln? And is she in front of a coffin? It's hard to tell from the quality of this copy.
A third picture is partially visible in the news clipping, but the clipping offers no details about it.