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Price Realized: $47,500 With Buyer's Premium Show Hammer Price
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Sale 2471 Lot 47
EDMONIA LEWIS, HARRIET BELL HAYDEN, AND MORE (SLAVERY AND ABOLITION.) Collection of cartes-de-visite photos including numerous African-Americans and abolitionists. 83 images, almost all of them cartes-de-visite but including the occasional tintype or engraving, each inserted in album leaves, 5 3/4 x 4 1/2 inches; disbound with one front board present, occasional foxing. Vp, circa 1860s
Estimate $6,000 - 9,000
Offered here are what appear to be the remnants of two thick carte-de-visite albums, similarly formatted but with different gilt-stamped paper frames. We have been unable to trace a common family thread, but they are both captioned in the same light pencil hand and likely come from the Boston area. They include an unusual concentration of African-American and abolitionist subjects. A portrait of an African-American woman is captioned "Mrs. Hayden, assisted to escape from slavery by Rev. Calvin Fairbanks who has recently been released after 12 yrs by president." This was apparently Harriet Bell Hayden, wife of the prominent Boston abolitionist Lewis Hayden; they both escaped from slavery with the help of the famous Underground Railroad conductor Calvin Fairbanks in 1844. We are aware of no other images of Harriet Hayden. Another portrait of an African-American woman has an attached inscription reading "Laura Ripley, Freedom." A portrait of the renowned African-American sculptor Edmonia Lewis is accompanied by a printing of the poem written about her by Anna Quincy Waterston, discussing her bust of Colonel Robert Gould Shaw. This may be a previously unknown image of Lewis. Another shows escaped slave Arthur Crumpler of Boston; his signature is affixed below. He is best known as the husband of Rebecca Lee Crumpler, the first African-American medical school graduate. Three other photographs are from a popular series of New Orleans slave children: "Our Protection, Rosa, Charley, Rebecca" (showing them wrapped in flags), "Isaac and Rosa, Slave Children from New Orleans," and "Learning is Wealth: Wilson, Charley, Rebecca & Rosa."
Civil War leaders most notable for their work with African-American troops include General David Hunter and Colonel Robert Gould Shaw of 54th Massachusetts fame. White anti-slavery politicians include William Lloyd Garrison, Schuyler Colfax, Henry Wilson, and Abraham Lincoln. Among the other photographs of interest are: circus performer Tom Thumb and wife (Charles Stratton and Lavinia Warren), Ulysses S. Grant, Ambrose Burnside, and Union spy / actress Pauline Cushman (in uniform). A few have autograph inscriptions pasted to the album leaves, including authors Mary Louise Booth, James William Kimball, and Oliver Wendell Holmes. A dual portrait of Charles Sumner and Henry Longfellow has both of their signatures pasted below.
Price Realized (with Buyer's Premium) $47,500