Lincoln portrait negative tallies up $32,250 in American history auction

CINCINNATI – Cowan’s Auctions, Inc. American History, Including the Civil War Auction realized $697,000 in the June 21, 2012 sale.

The highest selling lot in the sale was an Alexander Gardner Colloidon glass negative from Abraham Lincoln’s last sitting, which hammered down at $32,250. Descended in the family of M.P. Rice, this seated portrait of the president was taken February 5, 1865, in what was generally acknowledged as the last sitting made in Gardner’s studio.

Abraham Lincoln last sitting photograph

Alexander Gardner (1821-1882). Stereoscopic glass plate, collodion negative, 4.25 x 7 in., approx. .0625 in. thick, the right panel etched Copyright by M.P. Rice 1891. $35,250. Photo courtesy Cowan’s Auctions.

A number of photographs were also among the top-selling lots in the auction. A Robert Linn with his stereoview camera, Lookout Mountain, Civil War photograph by I.H. Bonsall realized $22,325.

An Abraham Lincoln salted paper photograph by Samuel Fassett brought $3,173, $2,000 more than the high estimate.

daguerreotype of trapper

Anonymous sixth plate daguerreotype of a trapper or hunter striking a resolute pose. $14,100. Photo courtesy Cowan’s Auctions.

A rare menu from the Atlantic Conference, signed by all guests, including Churchill and Roosevelt, realized $21,150.

A George Washington Document Signed (DS), dated 1732-1739, sold for $19,975.

A David Crockett DS, 1830, hammered down at $20,400.

A Christopher Kit Carson DS, Fort Union, New Mexico, 1866, realized $11,163.

A Chief Joseph autograph brought $11,163; more than $5,000 above the high estimate.

“I am extremely pleased with the results,” notes Katie Horstman, Director of American History Department, Cowan’s Auctions. “From the George Washington signed document to the Collodion Negative of Abraham Lincoln’s last sitting, the prices that we achieved for the lots offered in the sale confirmed that the market for fine historic collectibles remains strong.”

Additional noteworthy lots offered in the sale were miniature portraiture and CDV’s . A rare Wild Bill Hickok carte de visite (CDV) by A.P. Trott, Junction City, Kansas, hammered down at $11,163. A Thomas Jefferson Miniature Portrait by William Russell Birch sold for $11,750.

A rare panoramic photograph of the opening game at Cincinnati National League Park, Chicago vs. Cincinnati, fetched $13,200 in the sale.

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The Bare Minimum on Discovering America,
the Boston Tea Party, the California Gold Rush,
and Lots of Other Stuff Dead White Guys Did
By Don Stewart and John Pfeiffer

The Everything® American History Book, 2nd Edition
People, places and events that shaped our nation
By John R. McGeehan, M.A.