Cowan’s presents more African Americana Dec. 3

African Americana

C.S. Fly cabinet card of 24th Infantryman, Tombstone, Ariz., studio portrait of an unidentifed buffalo soldier sergeant of Company B, 24th Infantry, circa 1882. Estimate: $8,000-$10,000. Cowan’s image

CINCINNATI – Cowan’s Auctions will offer Part II of the Steve Turner Collection of African Americana on Dec. 3 starting at 10 a.m. EST. Comprising over 240 lots, the photographs, broadsides, books, manuscripts, pinbacks and ephemera in the collection primarily explore the history of African American settlement in the west during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Bid absentee or live online through LiveAuctioneers.

The collection also includes objects relating to important civic leaders, the Black liberation movement of the 1960s and 1970s, and depictions of daily life. Especially noteworthy is an exceptional selection of early photography including an outstanding cabinet card of a 24th Infantryman by C.S. Fly (Lot 22), a CDV of Maj. Martin Delany (Lot 9), portraits of other Black Civil War soldiers and veterans (Lot 7-Lot 8, Lot 23-Lot 14, Lot 87), and extraordinary images of buffalo soldiers (Lot 17-Lot 27, Lot 29-45).

African Americana

CDV full-length studio portrait of Maj. Martin Delany (1812-1885) in military uniform, circa 1864. Delany was one of the first African American men admitted to Harvard Medical School. During the Civil War, he served as a surgeon in the famed 54th Massachusetts Volunteers and in 1865 became the first African American man to receive a regular army commission. Estimate: $6,000-$8,000. Cowan’s image

The collection also includes photographs by groundbreaking African American photographers including James P. Ball (Lot 53-Lot 56), Daniel Freeman (Lot 75), and James Latimer Allen (Lot 201). All of this in addition to exceedingly scarce and difficult to obtain images of African Americans in the frontier west.

African Americana

Thomas Young (1860-?) ‘Afro-American Freeman’s Light: A Book of Original Poems and Songs,’ Denver: H.D. Mann & Co., 1897. Estimate: $6,000-$8,000. Cowan’s image

Other highlights include a rare 10th Cavalry Guidon (Lot 28) and a 1940 Los Angeles directory of Central Avenue District (Lot 143). Other rare imprints include an early memoir of a Black hairdresser, A Hairdresser’s Experience in High Life by Eliza Potter (Lot 125), the 1782 first edition of Letters of the Late Ignatius Sancho, An African (Lot 227), the extremely scarce first issue of Bessie Coleman Aero News signed by William J. Powell (Lot 139), and issue #1 of All-Negro Comics (Lot 235).

African Americana

Rare 10th Cavalry guidon, circa 1889, 42-stars, circa 1889-1891, 32.5 x 25.5in. Estimate: $5,000-$7,000. Cowan’s image

Also featured is a noteworthy collection of sports and boxing items with several significant photographs, postcards, and more related to the landmark careers of Joe Gans (Lot 207-Lot 210), Jack Johnson (Lot 211-Lot 219), Joe Louis (Lot 221-Lot 223), Henry Armstrong (Lot 220), and Muhammad Ali (Lot 224), and much more.

African Americana

Lot of two postcards related to the Jan. 1, 1907 lightweight championship fight between Joe Gans and Kid Herman in Tonopah, Nev. Estimate: $1,000-$1,200. Cowan’s image.

For details contact Cowan’s Danielle Linn at or 513-871-1670 x244.


View top auction results on LiveAuctioneers here: