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  • June 25, 2012

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Collodion Negative of Abraham Lincoln's Last Sitting - estimate $40,000/60,000


Cowan’s Auctions, Inc. American History, Including the Civil War Auction realized $697,000 in the June 21, 2012 sale. Over 267 people from over 9 countries bid competitively for the 391 lots on the telephone, online and in Cowan’s salesroom.

The highest selling lot in the sale was an Alexander Gardner Colloidon Glass Negative from Abraham Lincoln’s Last Sitting, which hammered down at $32,250. Descended in the family of M.P. Rice, this seated portrait of the president was taken on February 5, 1865, in what was generally acknowledged as the last sitting made in Gardner’s studio.


A number of photographs were also among the top-selling lots in the auction.  A Robert Linn with his Stereoview Camera, Lookout Mountain, Civil War Photograph by I.H. Bonsall realized $22,325. An Abraham Lincoln Salted Paper Photograph by Samuel Fassett brought $3,172.50, two thousand dollars more than the high pre-sale estimate. 

A rare Menu from the Atlantic Conference, signed by all guests, including Churchill and Roosevelt, realized $21,150. A George Washington DS, dated 1732-1739, sold for $19, 975.  A David Crockett DS, 1830, hammered down at $20,400.00.  A Christopher Kit Carson DS, Fort Union, New Mexico, 1866, realized $11,162.50. A Chief Joseph Autograph brought $11,162.50; over five thousand above the high pre-sale estimate.

 “I am extremely pleased with the results of yesterday's auction.” notes Katie Horstman, Director of American History Department, Cowan’s Auctions. “From the George Washington signed document to the Collodion Negative of Abraham Lincoln's Last Sitting, the prices that we achieved for the lots offered in the sale confirmed that the market for fine historic collectibles remains strong.”

 Additional noteworthy lots offered in the sale were miniature portraiture and CDV’s . A rare Wild Bill Hickok CDV by A.P. Trott, Junction City, Kansas, hammered down at $11,162.50. A Thomas Jefferson Miniature Portrait by William Russell Birch sold for $11,750. A rare Panoramic Photograph of the Opening Game at Cincinnati National League Park, Chicago vs. Cincinnati, fetched $13,200 in the sale.

 Cowan’s Auctions, Inc.

As one of the nation’s leading auction houses with sales approaching $20 million, Cowan’s has been helping individuals and institutions build important collections for more than a decade. To learn more about Cowan’s, visit




Erika L McMillan
Cowan's Auctions
513-871-1670 ext.30

Cowan's Auctions
6270 Este Avenue
Cincinnati, Ohio
About Cowan's Auctions

As one of the nation’s leading auction houses with sales approaching $20 million, Cowan’s has been helping individuals and institutions build important collections for more than a decade. The company’s six divisions of American History, American Indian and Western Art, American and European Fine and Decorative Art, Historic Firearms & Early Militaria, Asian Art and Jewelry and Fine Timepieces hold semi-annual cataloged sales that routinely set records for rare offerings. Through its extensive mailing list of more than 35,000 collectors, dealers and institutional clients, each Cowan’s auction typically attracts more than 1,000 bidders from across the globe. To learn more about Cowan’s visit our website at

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Schwenke Auctioneers - Shagbark Farm Collection - Dec 6

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