134

Tintype and Ambrotype of Unidentified Enlisted Sailors

Lot of 2. Sixth plate tintype portrait of a teenage navy tar together with a ninth plate ambrotype of a young sailor with fledgling mustache. Both boys appear to wear jumpers having flaps without specialty patches or identifying insignia. 

The Richard B. Cohen Civil War Collection 
Lots 133-162 

Cowan's is pleased to offer the first contingent of an unparalleled assembly of Brown Water Navy images archived over a lifetime of study by consummate collector Richard B. Cohen, a familiar name to many in the field of Civil War photography. To those who knew him best, Richard B. Cohen will be remembered as a "disciplined collector who maintained a relatively narrow focus having built an important, perhaps unsurpassed collection in his area of specialization." Richard was particularly well read and his historical knowledge informed his collecting as reflected by the photography that follows. The array of carte-de-visites and albumen photographs gathered here include a number of identified naval officers - both famous and obscure - along with a handful of enlisted sailors and Mississippi Marine Brigade images, and, significantly, many views of unique Brown Water Navy sidewheel and sternwheel warships - no two vessels looking exactly the same. Subjectively, the most appealing aspect of the Cohen Collection are the photographs of these gunboats, transports, and impressed vessels quickly converted at St. Louis, Cairo, and Cincinnati for duty on the waters of the Mississippi River and its tributaries. The gamut of improvised warships range from the earliest types of steam powered vessels first taken up by the Army to create a small timberclad flotilla, to the several purpose-built War Department Ellet rams, and later, the more numerous classes of tinclads, some converted but all built for and crewed by the Navy. A few captured Confederate vessels impressed into Union service are also present. It is supremely evident that Richard B. Cohen's collecting instincts were always evolving, but uniformly refined. We trust that both advanced and neophyte collectors will find something to pique interest now that the time has come to inevitably recycle these exceptional images to a new cadre of aficionados.

Provenance:The Richard B. Cohen Civil War Collection

Condition:

Tintype with average clarity displays numerous light bends none of which break the emulsion, G. Image has been modified with incorrect daguerreian era brass mat and retainer.  Ambrotype with strong clarity; plate is covered by tiny flecks of spotting probably due to debris beneath cover glass, near EXC. Both images housed in composition cases showing moderate wear.  

Estimate: $300 - $500
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium
$375
06/26/2020

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