Parker Family of New York, Pre and Civil War-Era Daguerreotype and Ambrotypes

Lot of 3. Two generations of soldiers from the Parker family of New York appear in a sharply defined daguerreotype and two ambrotypes. The sixth plate daguerreotype of the older gentleman with the look of an aristocrat is Samuel S. Parker, Sr., a member of a pre-Civil War 7th New York State Militia – a “gentleman’s regiment.” Samuel was the first captain of the American Rifles, Company A in 1850. When the full regiment was formed, Parker was made a major. In this 1855 daguerreotype, he holds an 1851 pattern shako with plume and number 7 in one hand and an 1850 staff and field officer’s sword in the other. His officer's belt plate clearly shows Old-English “NY”, and the buttons on his coat are 1855 Eagle-I infantry officer buttons. The identification pinned in the case reads, “Samuel S. Parker, Sr 1855.” Thompson: New York, 1855. Mat stamped with photographer's name. Housed in full, pressed paper case. 

The sixth plate ambrotypes feature two sons of Samuel, Sr. – Samuel, Jr., and Sewell. Both enlisted in the 87th New York State Militia in October 1861; Samuel at the age of 20 and Sewell at 18. The brothers transferred into Company F of the 40th New York, the Mozart Regiment, in September 1862. Sewell was reported missing in action at Chancellorsville in May 1863, and Samuel was captured in May 1864 at the Wilderness but both returned to the regiment, Sewell mustering out in August 1864 and Samuel in June 1865. In this studio setting, both wear early war, New York regulation, eight-button pattern volunteer jackets, each brother resting his left arm on an overcoat with a forage cap atop it. Housed together in full, thermoplastic Union case, The Deer and the Pine Tree [Berg 1-116]. 


Daguerreotype of Samuel Parker Sr. in near excellent condition. Strong clarity and contrast. Case fully separated at hinge, with surface wear and loss along top edge of front cover. 

Ambrotypes in near excellent condition. Sharp clarity and contrast. Image at left with few minor spots on plate. Case with few small chips. 

Estimate: $1,500 - $2,500
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium

Internet Bidding

Have a Similar Item?

Consign With Us

PLEASE NOTE: Previews and Pickups will be by appointment only.

Let Cowan's Handle Your Shipping!

Cowan's Auctions is one of the only houses to offer full service, in-house shipping.  

Our experts pack and ship over 5,000 purchases each year.  
Shipping costs are included on every invoice to make getting your items as fast and easy as possible. 

For more information, click HERE or contact shipping@cowans.com.