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  • Alexander Gardner's Photographic Sketchbook of the War up 13%
  • Post author
    Paul Fraser
  • AlexanderGardner'sPhotographicSketchbook

Alexander Gardner's Photographic Sketchbook of the War up 13%

A first edition copy of Alexander Gardner's Photographic Sketchbook of the War has sold for $192,000 at Skinner's November 17 sale in Boston.

Alexander Gardner civil war
Gardner's image shows Lincoln surrounded by his officers

The book was the headline lot of the Fine Books and Manuscripts sale, achieving a 12.9% increase on a $170,000 valuation.

Gardner (1821-1882) was one of the earliest photojournalists, known for his unflinching images of the US civil war.

A Scottish emigrant, he arrived in America in 1856 and began working as an assistant to Matthew Brady - considered by many to be the father of modern photojournalism.

Gardner travelled with the regular army, utilising a purpose-built mobile darkroom that allowed him to develop his prints quickly on the battlefield.

His book was first published in 1866 by Philip & Solomons, and comprises over 100 albumen photographs that document the span of the war.

While critically acclaimed, the book was never a bestseller due to the enormous production costs that made it prohibitively expensive.

Andrew Joseph Russell's Eighty Four Portraits of the American West (circa 1869), a collection of albumen prints, was estimated to make $3,000-5,000, but significantly surpassed expectations to realise $174,000 - an increase of 3,379%.

Andrew Joseph Russell American West
Russell's photographs document the early development of the American West

Russell (1830-1902) was a photographer for the military railroad during the civil war - a post that led to his later employment by the Union Pacific Railroad, which charged him with documenting the building of the trans-continental railway.

The lot includes a photograph of the joining of the eastern and western railroad lines and various landscape photographs, including images that depict the building work taking place in Salt Lake City and throughout the Midwest.

We have a selection of rare books available.

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  • Post author
    Paul Fraser
  • AlexanderGardner'sPhotographicSketchbook