CINCINNATI, Ohio — Cowan’s Auctions American History: Live Salesroom Auction on June 13, 2014 sales totaled $986,772. The 608-lot auction was held in Cowan’s
Cincinnati salesroom and included scarce daguerreotypes, manuscripts, books, maps, political campaign ephemera, flags, photographs of the American West and fresh-to-the-market 19th century photography. Also featured in the June 13 auction was the Paul DeHaan collection of items related to Admiral David Glasgow Farragut and his Flagship, the USS Hartford.
Two items shared the top selling lot position. Phone bidders battled back and forth for a rare California gold quartz pocket watch, which eventually sold to a phone bidder for $37,600. A flute owned by the African American musical prodigy “Blind Tom” also sold for $37,600. Thomas “Blind Tom” Wiggins was born a slave on a Georgia plantation, where he eventually encountered his first instrument, the piano. General Bethune caught word of the boy and began to exhibit him around the South, eventually securing an audience with President James Buchanan at the White House in 1860.
Items from the Paul DeHaan Admiral Farragut collection also achieved strong results. An oil on canvas attributed to William Stubbs and depicting the Battle of Mobile Bay sold for $10,575; a handwritten draft signed by Rear Admiral D.G. Farragut of the Victory at Mobile Bay garnered $8,225, and a sheet iron weathervane of a ship’s captain, modeled after Admiral Farragut brought $5,875.
Documents and manuscripts performed well in the auction, with many pieces exceeding
their pre-auction estimates. A CSA Lieutenant William M. Owen Washington Artillery manuscript archive sold for $18,800. An Austin & Cyril Hawkins archive with a focus on the California Gold Rush also realized $18,800. A Louisiana Purchase Exposition / St. Louis World’s Fair of 1904 archive involving Thomas Cridler, the European commissioner for the fair, sold at $12,925; a collection of criminal photographs from Montana Old West Prison Outlaws realized $11,162; and an 1863 Abraham Lincoln commission signed as president, for Thomas H. Ruger, Brigadier General, realized $8,225.
Additional notable lots in the June 13th auction included a Remarkable Table Constructed of Relic Wood from Famous Naval Ships by Commander Joseph P. Mickley, which sold for $17,625, an Oxford Lectern Edition of The Holy Bible realized $10,575, a New York Draft Riots Broadside titled “Don’t Unchain the Tiger” sold for $8,225, and a Scarce William Henry Harrison Campaign Flag Banner hammered down at $7,637.
For more information about the auction or to view the catalog, visit cowans.com or call Katie Horstman at 513-871-1670 ext. 236.