Mar 26, 2015 - Sale 2377

Sale 2377 - Lot 398

Price Realized: $ 11,250
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 15,000 - $ 25,000
(MILITARY--CIVIL WAR--PHOTOGRAPHY.) BEALS, CHARLES EMERY The Beals family photograph album. 78 cartes-de-visites and 6 tintypes, all in excellent condition, housed in a classic oblong 4to 19th century album, with deeply embossed covers, elaborately stamped in gilt and blind; original brass clasps intact; all edges gilt; some of the early family portraits are identified. New England, 1860's-1870's

Additional Details

an exceptional civil war period family album, with a number of very important slavery-related carte-de-visites images. From the Beals family of Stoughton Massachusetts. The album begins as one might expect with a number of images of identified family members, beginning with Jedediah Beals (1787-1880) and wife Phebe, and sons Jedediah Beals Jr. (1813-1880) and Charles Emery Beals (1843-1869), an ordinary New England family that quite possibly held anti-slavery views. Included with all of the family photos are cartes de visites of Abraham Lincoln, Mary Todd Lincoln, Schuyler Colfax, Charles Sumner, Henry Wilson (later vice president under Grant) and the notorious "Scourged Back" image of Private Gordon. Gordon is shown displaying the terrible scars on his back which he received from repeated floggings after attempting an escape. Also here is another infamous image of an abused slave, that of Wilson Chin, "a branded slave from Louisiana." Chin's forehead was branded with his master's initials; he wears a complex iron collar around his neck, the prongs sticking out meant to impede any escape through the forest underbrush. The latter and the following carte-de-visites of "Rebecca, Charlie and Rosa," "Rebecca," "Isaac and Rosa," and "White and Black Slaves from New Orleans," all bear printed captions beneath the images. These were part of a larger series issued by the Kimball studio in New York, and were sold during and after the Civil War to raise funds for the Freedmen's Bureau. The album also contains a fine collection of Civil War generals: Halleck, Burnside, Meade, Banks, Butler, Hunter, Rosecrans, Foster, Fremont, Hooker, Wool, Grant, Commodore Foote, and Captain Tilden (with an ink note "buried in Stoughton"). There are two images here that seem somewhat out of place, given the other images in the album: Jefferson Davis and Stonewall Jackson. Finally, there is a rare composite photograph of the actors and actresses of "The Boston Museum Company," the noted Boston theatrical ensemble. Of this image, we could find only one other example at Harvard's Houghton Library Theatre Collection. The last portrait in the album is that of Dr. Henry A. Tucker of Brooklyn, a "Clairvoyant Medium." We can only imagine what the Beal family was doing with a spirit medium.