CINCINNATI – On June 21 and 22, Hindman Auctions’ American Historical Ephemera & Photography sale realized $989,781. The Civil War and American militaria collection of Bruce B. Hermann was the focal point of the auction. Military uniforms were among standout lots from the Hermann collection, offered on the second day of the sale, while outstanding Civil War-era and 19th-century photographs highlighted the first day of the auction.
Bruce B. Hermann Collection | June 22
The Civil War and American militaria collection of Bruce B. Hermann achieved an impressive sell-through rate of 96 percent. Hermann has an extensive background in American and Western European military history, with more than 30 years of experience collecting and dealing in 16th- to 20th-century militaria. Hermann also served as an appraiser on the PBS series Antiques Roadshow for 11 seasons.
Standout lots from the Hermann collection included a uniform of the Cladek Zouaves, identified to Private Alfred T. Brophy, Co. K, 35th New Jersey Infantry, which exceeded its estimate of $9,000-$12,000 to earn $20,000. The uniform highlighted a notable selection of lots related to the Zouave regiments.
Military headgear was also among the top performers from the Hermann collection, including a 4th Rhode Island Infantry kepi identified to Captain Martin Page Buffum, POW at Petersburg, which realized $7,500, and a Model 1832 U.S. Infantry Shako for an enlisted soldier, which sold for $6,875.
“It was an honor to present the Hermann collection at auction, which contained an incredible range of high-quality historical militaria and ephemera built by someone with extensive knowledge and experience in the field,” said Hindman’s Senior Specialist in American Historical Ephemera and Photography, Katie Horstman. “We are pleased with the strong response we received to such a singular collection.”
Historic Photography and Letters | June 21
Emerging as the top lot of the first day of the auction was the Rosborough family archive, which achieved $37,500 against an estimate of $15,000-$25,000. The archive included letters relating to the California Gold Rush, the Modoc War, the Klondike Gold Rush, and early settlement and mining operations in Idaho Territory, Utah Territory, Nevada and Texas. The Rosborough family played a critical role in many defining moments during the period of Western expansion in the United States. The archive consists of more than 200 items predominantly authored by Alexander Madison “A.M.” Rosborough (1815-1900) and Joseph Brown “J.B.” Rosborough (1821-1901), two Tennesseans who led a wagon train westward to California in 1850 and remained in the West, cementing legacies as pioneers and businessmen.
Leading the offerings in the category of historic photography was a half plate tintype showing Company D, 2nd Tennessee Cavalry Regiment in the field. Images showing Union soldiers from Tennessee are exceptionally rare, and bidders drove the selling price up to $20,000 against an estimate of $3,000-$4,000.
Also, ninth plate daguerreotypes featuring John W. Draper and his wife by photographer Charles Rees climbed past its $10,000-$15,000 estimate to sell for $21,250. Draper was among a handful of New Yorkers who claimed to have made the first portrait daguerreotype in America. Draper collaborated closely with Samuel F. B. Morse in making some of the first daguerreotypes.
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