Aunty Bell Cabinet Card, Elmira, New York, circa 1890

Cabinet card portrait of Caroline Elizabeth "Aunty" Bell. Van Aken: Elmira, New York, n.d., circa 1890. Gilt imprint on recto, inscribed identification in print lower right. Bell is seated in a chair holding a cane and wearing a shawl with eyelet design and a plaid headscarf. Ink inscribed biographical information on verso: "Caroline Elizabeth Bell was born a Slave in Oct 1812. near Nashville Davison. [sic] Co Tenn. When quite young she was sold to another Master for $500. Soon she was obliged to carry a basket on her head & sell from that as she went from House to House. This she followed for several years. He failed in business & she was sold from the Block at Sheriffs sale to an accomplished - wealthy - French Lady of New Orleans, by the name of Madam Durell for $1600. She visited France every year & Caroline was always with her & her children. She spoke French fluently & was a noted Cook. In New Orleans she met & married a Frenchman who bought her freedom & after some years he visited his native country & never returned. Then for 10 or 12 years she was stewardess on a Steamboat from Memphis to N.O. In 1862 she went to Toronto, Can. & met a Brother she had not seen fo [sic] 32 years. She came to Elmira about 1870 & remained here untill [sic] her Death Aug 20th 1895 aged 83 years."


Card with some surface soil along upper edge and light abrasions along left edge. Mount with some areas of paper loss/wear including bottom left corner and lower right edge.  Penciled collection/identification number/code on verso. Verso also with some discoloration.

Estimate: $1,200 - $1,800
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium

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