Abraham Lincoln Funeral Photograph Album Realizes $27,025

This photo of Lincoln's funeral train at Cleveland sold for $750
This photo of Lincoln's funeral train at Cleveland sold for $750

An album of carte de visite photographs of Abraham Lincoln’s funeral procession was the top-selling lot at Cowan’s December 9, nearly tripling its $8/10,000 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, Ohio, and Chicago and Springfield, Illinois. 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.

This portrait of Stonewall Jackson seems a bargain at $2100
This portrait of Stonewall Jackson seems a bargain at $2100

A rare quarter plate daguerreotype of Seneca Chief Governor Blacksnake by artist F.C. Flint of Syracuse, New York, realized $22,325, well above its $10/15,000 estimate.

Born near Seneca Lake about 1753, this important Seneca war-chief was known to his people as Chainbreaker; to Whites he was Governor Blacksnake. A young warrior, Chainbreaker/Blacksnake was influential as a Seneca leader during the American Revolution, Indian conflicts at the end of the 18th century, and the War of 1812. He was also at the center of one of the great transformational events in Seneca history: the formation of the Code of Handsome Lake, which incorporated elements of Christianity and traditional Iroquois culture. Reproduced in several publications, this image that represents seminal events in American history garnered spirited bidding from collectors.

Western photography and ephemera made up a significant portion of the auction, with several lots represented in the top-selling items.

Julia Tuell Collection of Plains Indians Photos
Julia Tuell Collection of Plains Indians Photos

The Julia Tuell collection of 19 Plains Indian photographs brought $21,150, exceeding its $12/15,000 estimate. Tuell (1886-1960) settled in Lame Deer, Montana, with her husband, and became a keen observer of Northern Cheyenne daily life through her photographs. The collection offered by Cowan’s was comprised of several significant images, including photos of the Cheyenne Sun Dance and Animal Dance.

A California and Oregon Stage Line broadside on coated stock, circa 1866, described in Cowan’s catalogue as “a cornerstone piece for any Western transportation collection,” drew significant interest from collectors. Rare for its early vintage and compelling image, the broadside sold for $14,100.

A comprehensive archive of the California Gold Rush, complete with gold nugget, garnered $11,750, within its $10/15,000 estimate. Featuring approximately 175 items, including manuscripts and documents, the archive from an Ohio family provides a glimpse into the lives of Americans during the late antebellum years, when the great national issues of sectionalism and slavery met with an unprecedented mobility.

TOP LOT: Abraham Lincoln Funeral Carte de Visite Album
TOP LOT: Abraham Lincoln Funeral Carte de Visite Album

Not everything sold above estimates. A uniformed oil portrait of Stonewall Jackson sold below its $3,000-$5,000 estimate and seemed a bargain at $2,100. Reputed to have hung in the South Carolina capital building; this painting appears to be based upon Jackson’s Chancellorsville portrait, taken by a photographer from the Richmond Studio of Minnis and Crowell at Spotsylvania County Farm on April 26, 1863, seven days before being mortally wounded at the Battle of Chancellorsville.

Auction proceeds totaled $665,000, with 508 bidders from 6 countries vying for 400 lots.

“Overall, I was very happy with the results of the auction,” commented Wes Cowan, Director of American History. “Though we offered fewer lots than we have in past American History sales, the quality of the merchandise was elevated, as evidenced by the high per-lot average.”

About Art After X

With the death of President Kennedy in 1963, America changed. As hard as it is to minimize that sentiment, the effect of Dallas was even greater. The same year saw the merging of the Dallas Museum for Contemporary Arts, which had been central to the art scene, and the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts. Douglas MacAgy, then the director of DMCA, not only opposed the merger, but also declined to directorship of the combined museum. The regionalist movement which had been strong for decades, was giving way to more of an interest in what was going on nationally, and internationally. Like it or not, Dallas was on the national stage. When the Kennedy’s arrived in Fort Worth, local collectors had decorated a hotel room with internationally-renowned works. While the president and his wife learned a great deal about the ability of Texans to collect major art, there was little they could glean about the local scene in this era-defining city. With this in mind, we have begun a project to look not back at the art scene in Dallas, but foreword from 1963. We are interviewing gallery owners, curators and others involved in the art scene then, but this will be a story told mostly through interviews with artists active in the city from that point into the 1980s. The result will be a book with a video component. We hope you will join us in our journey. The hashtag for the project is #artafterx and the url artafterx.com will point to the latest updates on this weblog.

2 comments

To whom it may concern,

I have several Julia E. Tuell photographs that I would like some more information on. Please let me know if you can help.

Thanks and I hope to hear from you.

Dan

I have some orginal Julia E. Tuell photographs.

Do you have any interest in purchasing them?

Please advise.

Thanks

Dan

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