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Harlan Fiske Stone


Magnificent Bachrach portrait of Chief Justice Stone

Harlan Fiske Stone, 1872-1946.  Associate Justice, United States Supreme Court, 1925-1941; Chief Justice of the United States, 1941-1946.  Exceptional large format signed photograph, 10½" x 13¾", inscribed and signed as Chief Justice To John Adams High School  /  with Good Wishes  / Harlan F. Stone  / Mar 26th 1946.

This portrait is a piece of art in itself and one of the finest Stone signed photographs that we have ever seen.  It is an original portrait of Stone by renowned photographer Fabian Bachrach taken in Stone's chambers in 1941.  Chief Justice Stone signed it less than a month before he died on April 22, 1946.  He died after suffering a cerebral hemorrhage while reading a dissent aloud from the bench.

Altogether Stone served more than 21 years on the Supreme Court.  President Calvin Coolidge, his Amherst College classmate, appointed Stone to the Court to succeed Justice Joseph McKenna in 1925.  In 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt elevated him to the position of Chief Justice.  He remained on the Court until his death. 

As an Associate Justice, Stone established a reputation for his strong dissents, especially those in which he defended New Deal social and economic welfare legislation against the conservative majority.  Thus, although Stone was a Republican, Roosevelt named him Chief Justice upon the retirement of Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes. As the composition of the Court changed, ultimately many of Stone's dissents became the majority view.

Stone wrote perhaps the most important footnote in Supreme Court history. 

Stone has inscribed and signed this photograph in black fountain pen.  The photograph has an unobtrusive crease across the right margin and into the image, well removed from the inscription and signature.  Overall the piece is in very fine condition.  It would be magnificent framed.




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