Quarter Plate Tintype of Robert E. Lee on Traveller, by A.H. Plecker, 1866

Quarter plate tintype housed in a in pressed paper case, separated at the spine. This view was made by the photographer A.H. Plecker (1840-1929) ca 1866, in western Virginia, while Lee was serving as President of Washington College in Lexington, VA (now Washington & Lee University, where both Lee and Traveller and buried and memorialized). Lee only allowed himself to be photographed a handful of times in the years between the end of the Civil War and his death in 1870, and trusted Plecker with one of two similar images of Lee atop Traveller, ca 1866-1867, the other usually attributed to photographer Michael Miley (1841-1918). Both poses have been reproduced many times, and are discussed at length in Donald A. Hopkins' Robert E. Lee in War and Peace, with the image offered here published on p. 103. 

This image was acquired by the current consignor by a dealer who acquired it from the noted Lincoln collector Lloyd Ostendorf of Dayton, Ohio, in a trade for Lincoln items circa early 1970s. 

An exceedingly rare and important image in flawless condition, and perhaps the last original photograph of Lee in private hands.


The plate is flawless, with excellent clarity and contrast, and no scratches or oxidation. 

Estimate: $30,000 - $50,000
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium

Internet Bidding

Have a Similar Item?

Consign With Us

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