December 06, 2012 07:00 PM EST Cincinnati


A Collection of Generals & Presidents with Rare Custer View

Lot of 17, including: a group of four Union and eight Confederate portraits, all common, along with four unidentified civilians, many of the Confederates with Southern Publishing Co., Baltimore MD backmarks. The name Broderick Thomas, unknown, is inked on the back of several of the cartes. Also, a rare cdv group shot by Alexander Gardner of Sheridan & staff that includes Custer.

The Union Generals are Sheridan (engraving), McClellan (in civilian dress), Gouverneur Warren with a 5.25 x 7.25 period oval copy shot of Grant.

The most intriguing image is a very poor quality cdv with Gardner imprint and canceled blue-green two cent revenue stamp featuring Sheridan’s staff members Merritt, Crook, Forsyth, and Custer. The exact pose is similar to K-46 in Katz's Custer in Photographs, but not identical, as the standing Sheridan and William Forsyth have switched positions. Additionally, K-46 captured the group huddled around an oval Victorian table studying a map, while in this rare cdv, the table and maps are missing. Katz reports that the original K-46 was photographed by Gardner on January 2, 1865 as an “imperial platinum print.” Brady also photographed Sheridan & Staff the following day, but this unpublished view is positively the Gardner studio photograph based on what can be gleaned from the style of chairs and carpet pattern. We note that the same CDV in superior condition was offered by Heritage Auctions as lot 72058 in their June 24, 2007 Civil War sale.

The Confederate subjects are Lee (copy shot), Breckinridge (engraving), A.S. Johnson (engraving), Mosby (engraving), Fitzhugh Lee (copy shot), Vice President Alexander Stevens, and Joe Wheeler, plus one other unidentified civilian politician.

Provenance:Descended in the Family of Captain Milton Brent Perkins, 6th Kentucky Cavalry

Condition:The Custer CDV is severely trimmed, light, with very poor contrast and limited detail. The CDV’s are generally rough; all of the Confederate subjects are noticeably light.

Estimate: $600 - $800
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium


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