Mar 21, 2013 - Sale 2308

Sale 2308 - Lot 405

Price Realized: $ 6,960
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 1,500 - $ 2,500
(MILITARY--CIVIL WAR.) BOWSER, DAVID BUSTILL. United States Colored Troops. Pair of carte-de-visite photographs of the obverse and reverse of David Bowser's flag of the 6th United States Colored Troops; both cdv's are tipped onto a piece of matting board with a printed description. (USCT). Philadelphia, 1863

Additional Details

a pair of very rare photographs of a flag created by David Bustill Bowser (1820-1900) for the United State Colored Troops, then stationed at Camp William Penn. Bowser created a number of elaborate flags for the Sanitary Fairs. He enjoyed a career as a portrait painter of some of the leading figures of the day, including Abraham Lincoln. According to Theresa Leininger-Miller, Bowser was "one of the most commercially successful African-American artists in Philadelphia in the 19th century." He was the cousin and student of the artist Robert M. Douglass, Jr. of Philadelphia, one of the earliest Philadelphia African-American artists. While the Bowser family is known from the 18th-century teacher Cyrus Bustill to the 20th-century actor Paul Robeson, there remains little information about the artist's early life. Bowser's surviving paintings tell a story of his wide-ranging career, from the early commission of maritime and landscape paintings to the emblems and banners for Philadelphia's fireman companies and fraternal organizations.