Lot of 3, comprised of two cased sixth plates and a quarter plate tintype of unknown enlisted artillerymen.
Quarter plate tintype under oval mat captures a young, seemingly detached private seated before a painted canvas backdrop highlighted by prominent arched tents. He wears a variant shell jacket with ten gilded buttons with another on either side of the braided collar. On his left breast (facing the camera) is a metallic five pointed star representing either a 20th Corps badge or personal identification pin. He holds his forage cap barely visible over his knee at five 'o clock. Housed in English push-button composition case.
Sixth plate tintype of ostensibly a standing sergeant with gilded chevrons and brass shoulder scales. Behind the case are penciled the initials "P M." The photographer's gilding appears to be haphazard and under magnification there is no trace of of what should be embroidered chevrons. The salt and pepper bearded NCO wears a twelve button shell jacket with two buttons on either side of the tall collar. Discounting the gold colored gilding, the scales suggest that he could be either an early war cavalryman or mid war artillery branch where the decorative scales seem to have persisted in the eastern theater for a longer period of time. The sergeant is wearing civilian gloves as opposed to gauntlets.
Sixth plate tintype of a stylish young man with wispy mustache and goatee. He wears a braided shell jacket having two collar buttons on either side and blocked slouch hat with fashionably upturned brim.
The Richard B. Cohen Civil War Collection
Lots 37, 69-98, 295
Cowan's enthusiastically presents the second installment of collector Richard B. Cohen's matchless archive of Civil War Brown Water Navy photography. Richard was known to many in the field - indeed some of these images may resonate from a bygone transaction or "show and tell' - but to those who knew him best he'll be remembered as a "disciplined collector who maintained a relatively narrow focus having built an important, perhaps unsurpassed collection in his area of specialization." This catalogued portion of the core collection is a seamless continuation of high quality photography highlighted by an array of Brown Water Navy warships in desirable carte-de-visite format. We counted no fewer than 22 different Mississippi River vessels, some battle-weary and familiar, others obscure, but all identified with many named in period ink. Research confirmed that several of these CDVs were signed by an officer who had served aboard the ship conveying the historic connection and spirit of "wooden ships and iron men." The last of the larger format albumen warships are also included - the USS Blackhawk, Eastport, and Louisville. A fine quartet of lots feature sought-after enlisted sailors. We proceed with eight additional lots of multiple identified officer cartes, the myriad of navy rank insignia during the Civil War both complex and instructive. We think it opportune to quote a comment from a previous buyer who emailed that, "...I draw inspiration from their BWN service when known, and when not offering (him) the opportunity to reconstruct an aspect of overlooked Civil War naval history." Now comes the time to further disperse Richard B. Cohen's collection and recycle the photography to the care of the next generation, and in so doing we salute a lifelong endeavor unlikely ever to be duplicated.
Provenance:The Richard B. Cohen Civil War Collection
Quarter plate undamaged but slightly dark with average clarity. The two tone case is intact showing edge wear. VG. The sixth plate of the sergeant is also undamaged but slightly dark with average clarity. The dark brown composition case has separated and shows heavy wear at the corners. Third sixth plate with stronger clarity but with numerous tiny scratches and abrasions in plate. Some bubbling in the emulsion noted in the right lower quarter. Dark brown leather case repaired with tape otherwise near perfect. Overall G+.
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