Mar 25, 2021 - Sale 2562

Sale 2562 - Lot 7

Price Realized: $ 21,250
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 2,500 - $ 3,500
(SLAVERY AND ABOLITION.) [McPherson & Oliver; photographers.] [The Scourged Back.] Albumen photograph, 3 1/2 x 2 inches, on original plain mount without any publisher's mark; minor wear. Np, circa 1863

Additional Details

A second-generation print of one of the most iconic images of slavery. After repeated beating and whippings at a Louisiana plantation, Gordon escaped from slavery and made his way to a Union camp at Baton Rouge, where he joined the army as a private. A camp photographer took a series of photographs which graphically demonstrated the brutality he had endured. The present photograph was the best known. It was engraved for the 4 July 1863 issue of Harper's Weekly, where it ran over the caption "Gordon Under Medical Inspection."

This example seems to be copied from one printed by Chandler Seaver in Boston, as the original mount with double-ruled border can be seen in the photograph, above a caption repeated from the verso of Seaver's version, as seen at the National Gallery of Art: "Copy of a photograph taken from life at Baton Rouge, La. April 2 1863."