Carte featuring uniformed sailor and double amputee Bernard Toby/Tobey (named spelled variously), with both arms missing below the elbow, having ribbons on his shirt and a strapped "hurdy-gurdy," or hand organ at his hip, with "Fort Fisher" visible on the front. He is posed next to a small cart flying an American flag, with a similarly uniformed young boy (possibly Toby's son) posed on the opposite side. Credited to Bonta & Curtiss, Syracuse, NY on verso.
Bernard Toby, a Dutch-born Crimean War veteran, moved to the United States with his wife in 1856, and enlisted in the US Navy after the Civil War broke out in 1861. On January 16, 1865 a powder magazine exploded while he was inside the surrendered Fort Fisher, and 200 men were killed or wounded in the accident, including Toby, who lost both of his arms. In an effort to make extra money, Toby purchased a hand organ and used it to perform concerts around the country with his son. These events, along with photographs such as the one featured in this lot, provided additional income for his family.
Source: Leisenring, Jr., Richard. "Philanthropic Photographs," Military Images, Spring 2018.
Toning to CDV.
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