200-lot auction sees rare daguerreotype sell for three times estimate

BEVERLY, Mass. — A single 30-year collection of more than 200 daguerreotypes, including three with ties to President Abraham Lincoln, drew keen interest during an October 2012 auction at Kaminski Auctions of Beverly, Mass.

The evening got off to an encouraging start as a quarter plate, occupational daguerreotype, with full leather case of a young photographer sitting beside his camera

Daguerreotype, quarter plate, occupational of a young photographer sitting beside his camera, full leather case, 4 1/2 inches high, resealed. $17,550. (Photo courtesy Kaminski Auctions)

sold for $17,550, surpassing the presale estimate of $5,000 to $7,000.

The second top lot of the sale was a quarter plate daguerreotype with an image of an outdoor scene: an old mill possibly located in Herkimer, N.Y., contained in a fancy thermoplastic wall frame that sold for $9,360 against a presale estimate of $1,000 to $1,500.

With the Oscar-winning Steven Spielberg movie “Lincoln” earning accolades, and the popularity of the PBS documentary “The Civil War” by Ken Burns, items tied to President Abraham Lincoln are increasingly popular. A rare outdoor view of President Abraham Lincoln, before the State House, at the Flag Raising, dated February 22, 1861, identified as 1029 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia by T.S. Hacker sold for $6,250, while a second image, a rare period copy quarter plate daguerreotype of Abraham Lincoln “beardless” sold for $1,755.

Also Civil War related, an important chessboard featuring identified portraits of Civil War personalities including generals, presidents, politicians, writers and poets and showing Zac Taylor, Millard Fillmore, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and a beardless Abraham Lincoln, sold for $1,400.


This article originally appeared in Antique Trader magazine

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A copy plate daguerreotype of Henry Clay, sixth plate, the original image taken on March 7, 1848, by Marcus Aurelius Root, and declared to be “decidedly the best and most satisfactory portrait ever taken of him” by Clay himself, sold for $3,650.

Additional highlights of the auction include:

• Unusual French pocket watch of 18-karat yellow gold with a miniature in ivory and a daguerreotype of a gentleman sold for $4,800

This gelatin silver print, circa 1939, entitled “Melancholic Tulips,” fetched $4,900. (Photo courtesy Kaminski Auctions)

• Several modern photographs by Andre Kertesz received much interest with a 1939 gelatin silver print entitled “Melancholic Tulips” fetching $4,900

• One bidder walked away with all of the available photographs by Herman Leonard

The next event at Kaminski Auctions is the Fine Asian Art & Antiques auction slated for Jan. 26. The 429-lot auction features fine porcelain, paintings, exceptional bronzes and jade and ivory pieces. Items of particular interest in this sale include a rare and important Chinese gilt bronze disc from the 18th/19th century, inlaid with a white jade carving of Confucius, on a carved rosewood stand. For more information about Kaminski Auctions visit www.kaminskiauctions.com.

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