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Civil Rights

Civil Rights items take center stage at Cowan’s Feb. 18

Civil Rights
Louis Lo Monaco, (20th Century), ‘March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom August 28, 1963: We Shall Overcome,’ New York: Urban League, five collage prints, original pictorial wrappers. Estimate: $1,000-$1,500. Cowan’s image

CINCINNATI – Cowan’s, a Hindman company, will present its first dedicated various owner African Americana sale on Feb. 18. The sale will feature a diverse selection of books, manuscripts, newspapers, photographs, posters and ephemera dating from the 18th century through the mid-20th century, representing themes such as slavery and abolition, militaria, civil rights, politics, art and literature. Bid absentee or live online through LiveAuctioneers.

A number of influential figures including Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington, Martin Luther King Jr., Marcus Garvey, Madame C.J. Walker, Huey Newton, Eldridge Cleaver and Angela Davis will be represented in the auction.

Civil Rights
Press photograph of Dr. Martin Luther King locking arms with his aides while leading march to the Montgomery, Ala., courthouse, March 17, 1965. Estimate: $1,000-$2,000. Cowan’s image

The sale includes recorded speeches, press photographs, posters, books, a pennant, illustrated (comic) books and more documenting the Rev. King and his various campaigns, most notably the marches from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., and the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

Highlights of the sale include a photograph of the Rev. King locking arms with his aides while leading the march to the Montgomery, Ala. courthouse (lot 191; estimate is $1,000-$2,000).

Another noteworthy piece is a sixth plate daguerreotype of Joseph Jenkins Roberts, the first and third president of Liberia (lot 82; estimate is $10,000-$15,000). The archive of Lieutenant Colonel George Henry Hoyt is another standout item (lot 46; estimate is $4,000-$6,000). Hoyt most notably acted as one of John Brown’s attorneys when the abolitionist stood trial for the raid at Harper’s Ferry, Va. Included in the archive are a journal with Hoyt’s hand-recorded testimonies from Brown’s relatives, former neighbors and old acquaintances, and a scrapbook containing newspaper clippings reporting on Hoyt and the trial. Other notable items include a quarter plate tintype of two young girls, one African American and one white (lot 84; estimate is $800-$1,200).

Civil Rights
World War I chromolithograph, ‘True Sons of Freedom,’ Charles Gustrine, Chicago, 1918, 16 x 20in, honoring the 200,000 African Americans who served in combat roles. Estimate: $600-$800. Cowan’s image

Marcus Garvey, founder and first president-general of the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League, is featured prominently in the sale. Signed letters, a broadside, and objects from his Black Star Line are featured in the 14 lots identified to Garvey.

Madam C.J. Walker of Indianapolis, the first female self-made millionaire in the United States, is also represented through five lots associated with her line of cosmetics and hair care products.

Civil Rights
Sales representative convention badge for the Madam C.J. Walker Co., 1920s. Estimate: $2,500-$3,500. Cowan’s image

Bidding for the Feb. 18 auction will begin at 10 a.m.

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