Skip to main content

Civil War sketchbook highlights Cowan's auction

  • Author:
  • Publish date:
Gardner's Photographic Sketch Book of the War, Philp & Solomons, 1865-1866 - estimate $100,000/150,000

Gardner's Photographic Sketch Book of the War, Philp & Solomons, 1865-1866 - estimate $100,000/150,000

CINCINNATI — Cowan’s Auctions, Inc. will host their American History: Live Salesroom Auction on Nov. 21. The 302-lot auction will be held in Cowan’s salesroom, in Cincinnati, Ohio, and will include scarce daguerreotypes, photographs of the American West, 19th century photography, manuscripts, books, maps, political campaign ephemera and flags. Live online bidding also is available.

Cowan’s will be offering one of the most important photograph sketchbooks of the Civil War. Alexander Gardner’s Photographic Sketchbook of the War by Philp & Solomons, 1865-1866, is estimated to bring anywhere between $100,000/150,000.

“This sale is rich in diversity,” notes Katie Horstman, Director, American History Department. “From the Gardner book, to Harry S. Truman’s poker table, the over 300 lots featured in the auction represent the people, places and events that made our great country what it is today.”

Exceptional documents and archives will also be offered in the auction. An Important Revolutionary War Naval Document detailing the Official Record of the Court Martial of Captain Whipple, Signed by John Paul Jones and other Naval and Marine Corps Officers is estimated to sell anywhere between $40,000/60,000. A Thomas Stonewall Jackson ALS in Response to Col. Kenton Harper is expected to bring $18,000/25,000, a J.E.B. Stuart ALS is estimated at $11,000/15,000, and a Manuscript Archive of Surgeon Henry Janes at Camp Letterman during Gettysburg is estimated at $7,000/9,000.

Cowan’s will be featuring books and manuscripts in the November 21 sale. An edition of Zebulon Pike’s Expeditions to the Sources of the Mississippi, dated to 1805-1807, is expected to bring $10,000/15,000, a book detailing Mathematical Collections and Translations by Thomas Salusbury is estimated at $10,000/15,000, and a First Edition of the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is estimated at $4,000/8,000.

Photographs are expected to have a strong performance in the auction. A scarce Whole Plate Ambrotype of Captain John Wilson of the 8th Kentucky Infantry is expected to bring $10,000/15,000, a Photograph by Gardner of President Lincoln at the Battlefield of Antietam is estimated at $10,000/12,000, a Quarter Plate Daguerreotype of California Pioneer, Nathaniel Miller, is expected to sell between $4,000/6,000, and a Photograph of Union General Gabriel R. Paul who was shot in the head and blinded at Gettysburg is expected to bring $2,500/3,500.

Exceptionally Rare Confederate Cipher Disc - $10,000/15,000

Exceptionally Rare Confederate Cipher Disc - $10,000/15,000

Additional notable lots in Cowan’s November 21 American History Auction include an Exceptionally Rare Confederate Cipher Disc, estimated to bring $10,000/15,000, a Colonel Orland Smith Presentation Silver Service is estimated at $5,000/7,000, and a 36-Star Grand Luminary Flag is estimated at $3,500/5,500.

For more information about the auction or to view the catalogue, please visit or call Katie Horstman at 513.871.1670 ext. 246.

Frontline Feature


Be Our Frontline Feature Sponsor

Get your company or auction front and center with our Frontline Feature. Click here to learn more.