Issue #168  1/6/2010
Cowan's Dec. Sale Breaks Over $665,000, With Several Important Photo Lots Breaching $20,000 Mark

Cowan's American History auction on December 9, 2009 brought in $665,000 on 400 lots. An album of carte-de-visite photographs of Abraham Lincoln's funeral procession was the top-selling lot of the auction, nearly tripling its $8,000-10,000 estimate by selling for $27,025. Comprised of 97 CDVs, the album featured images of three of the nine cities on the funeral route--Columbus, OH, and Chicago and Springfield, IL. While valuable for its rarity as a whole, the album includes several cartes-de-visite which are exceptional individually, including an image of the processional arch in Chicago, and an image of Lincoln's bedroom in his Springfield home. Additionally, several photographs are not illustrated in "Twenty Days", Kunhardt and Kunhardt's comprehensive 1965 account of Lincoln's assassination and funeral.

Two other important photography lots in the sale included a rare quarter-plate daguerreotype of Seneca Chief Governor Blacksnake by artist F.C. Flint of Syracuse, New York, which realized $22,325, well above its $10/15,000 estimate; and the Julia Tuell collection of 19 Plains Indian photographs, which brought $21,150, exceeding its $12/15,000 estimate.