Alexander Gardner's American civil war record to make $170,000?

A first edition copy of Alexander Gardner's Photographic Sketch Book of the War is the top lot of Skinner's November 17 sale in Boston.

The book is valued at $150,000-170,000.

Gardner (1821-1882) was a Scottish born photographer who emigrated to America in 1856.

He was given the title of army photographer by Abraham Lincoln, and travelled alongside the regular forces - developing his photographs in a purpose built mobile darkroom.

Alexander Gardner civil war
  Abraham Lincoln with troops during the US civil war

The book was first published in 1866 by Philip & Solomons and features 100 albumen photographs documenting events from the US civil war (1861-1865).

It did not sell well, due in large part to the high cost of production that made the price of the book prohibitive.

The two volumes are in good condition with only light water staining and surface rubbing.

A copy sold at Christie's New York for $92,500 in 2009, surpassing its $40,000-60,000 estimate by 50%.

Maria Sybilla Merian's Histoire Generale des Insects de Surinam et toute L'Europe carries an estimate of $45,000-65,000.

Merian Surinam botanical
The volume features 184 hand-coloured copper plates depicting Surinamese insects

First printed in Paris in 1771, the book features exquisite botanical drawings of the insects of Surinam in South America.

Merian was sponsored to make the journey by the city of Amsterdam in 1699, one of very few women given the opportunity to travel to the colonies to carry out scientific work.

A trained artist and naturalist, Merian's contribution to the field of entomology was significant.

She was one of the first botanists to observe and document metamorphosis in butterflies, and she discovered a large number of new species.

Sign up to our free weekly newsletter for all the latest from the collecting world direct to your inbox.

Featured products

Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Sale price£399
In stock
Fidel Castro signed certificateFidel Castro Signed Certificate
Fidel Castro signed certificate
Sale price£2,995
In stock
King Henry VIII Autographed DocumentKing Henry VIII Autographed Document
King Henry VIII Autographed Document
Sale price£55,000
In stock