Apr 15, 2021 - Sale 2564

Sale 2564 - Lot 168

Price Realized: $ 1,625
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 600 - $ 900
(CIVIL WAR.) Album of cartes-de-visite including one of spymaster Lafayette Baker. 130 items, mostly cartes-de-visites with a few tintypes and engraved cards, inserted into a 25-page period album. 4to, original decorative morocco, "John A. Stambach" in gilt on front board, worn and lacking backstrip; corners of cards clipped, otherwise minor wear to contents. Philadelphia and vp, 1863-65 and undated

Additional Details

Probably the most notable photograph in this volume is a Mathew Brady studio portrait of the shadowy United States military intelligence leader, Colonel Lafayette Curry Baker (1826-1868). It is inscribed on verso "Presented me by Mrs. Col. L.C. Baker, June 8 / 65." Soon after the war, Baker became enmeshed in a variety of scandals and was fired for spying on President Johnson. A conspiracy theory alleges that he was then poisoned for his inside knowledge of the Lincoln assassination.

The volume was kept by John Augustine Stambach (1840-1916), a Philadelphia hatter and furrier who served as a private in a Pennsylvania regiment. One photograph, captioned "Ida," is likely his sister Ida Valerie Stambach (1853-1926), an early female medical school graduate who later practiced in California. Among the 7 photographs of uniformed soldiers in the album, one is inscribed by "Capt. S.J. Kiffer"[?] on recto. Notable figures include Samuel Morse, Horace Greeley, and Abraham Lincoln (a photograph of an engraving).