Issue #63  10/7/2003
Cowan November Sale Focuses On American 19th Century Images

Cowan's Historic Americana Auctions is holding its Historic America Auction Sale on November 12 at 12:00 noon EST near Cincinnati, OH at the Sharonville Convention Center. You can preview at the site, which is in Sharonville, from 9 am until the beginning of the sale itself. Or you can see the auction on line.

There are more than 1144 lots in the full three-day sale, although there are only a few hundred photography-specific lots. But that amount still makes Cowan one of the top auction houses for 19th century American photography.

For photography collectors, the day that counts is the first one, November 12th, when the auction will feature a huge assortment of early photography, including many important daguerreian portraits from Southworth & Hawes; a sixth-plate daguerreotype of American Statesman William Learned Macy (US Senator, NY Governor, Secretary of War, Lost Presidential nomination in 1852, and Secretary of State in 1853); daguerreotypes of a silversmith and a New England church; two daguerreotypes of Daniel Webster; lots of unusual tintypes and ambrotypes, including Civil War images, banjo players, photographers, brick making, Gen. Winfield Scott, ferrotype campaign buttons, and Chinese sailors; a large group of thermoplastic dag cases; fire images; stereo viewers and boxed sets; Anatomy class images; a rare Howard Hughes photo album; cdvs and other portraits of Civil War-era dignitaries including Abraham Lincoln; slave cdvs, a lynching and other early Afro-American images; autographed photographs by presidents, royalty, authors, artists and other noteworthy celebrities; numerous cdvs and other portraits of Civil War generals and officers; Civil War images by George Barnard, A.J. Russell, Alexander Gardner and Timothy O'Sullivan; a half-plate daguerreotype and a half-plate ambrotype of gold mining scenes; Alaska images; lots of early American outlaws, including an ambrotype of William "Bloody Bill" Anderson and a cdv of John Reno, reportedly the first train robber in U.S. history; and a group of large format photographs by Timothy O'Sullivan taken during the Darien Expedition. Western Americana features a large group of photographs of American Indians, frontier scouts and military figures, including images by Ben Wittick, John Hillers and A.J. Russell.

You can reach Wes Cowan by phone at 1-513-871-1670 and by email at info@historicamericana.com . Phones can still be reserved for the sale and you can bid on line at eBay Live Bid. You can visit the company's website at: to see the full online catalogue for the sale.

One tip: Wes does not include much of the photography in the sale in the photography category (!), so if you do "Browse the Auction by Category" area, please realize that you need to check out other categories, such as "Civil War", "Wild West Shows" and "Western America", besides the "Early Photography" section to see more of it.