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Auction Date: May 2, 2014

Lot 1087: Carte de Visite Photographs of Union Generals

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Carte de Visite Photographs of Union Generals From the Fine Collection of Spencer Meade, Son of General George Meade
Estimated Price: $2,000 - $3,000
Item Views 115 Bid Activity Average
Serial #Carte de Visite Photographs of Union Generals ManufacturerNone ModelNone
TypeOther Gauge Catalog Page60
Barrel Finish Grip
Stock ClassOther RatingSee Condition
DescriptionInvented in France and made popular by Napoleon III, the carte de visite was compact and relatively inexpensive, which led to a boom in personal photography. They also became collectors items, in essence becoming the first trading cards, with cards of Union Army Generals being especially popular during and after the Civil War. This grouping is from the personal collection of Spencer Meade, son of George G. Meade, Major General of the United States Army and commander of the Army of the Potomac at the Battle of Gettysburg. A cabinet card style photo (3 7/8 inches wide, 5 1/2 inches long) of Spencer Meade is included. 41 cards total are included, chiefly of Army Generals and Navy Commodores and Admirals, from an assortment of photography firms. Most are unidentified; among the ones that are marked are 2 for General Burnside (inventor of the Burnside Carbine), Commodore Dahlgren ("Father of American Naval Ordnance", namesake of the Dahlgren Gun and Bowie Bayonet), Joseph Holt (Senator, Secretary of War, Judge Advocate General, Chief Prosecutor for the Lincoln Assassination Trial), General John Sedgwick (highest ranking Union casualty of the war, attributed famous last words "They couldn't hit an elephant at this distance"), and General Joseph Hooker (commander of the Army of the Potomac). This is accompainied by a letter from the George Meade Easby executor stating these items are from the Easby Estate, the great grandson of General George Meade.

ConditionGood overall, with some fading of a few of the pictures and mild handling marks. The cabinet card shows some flaking of the edges and lost backing material.
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