Black American history is brought to life at Freeman’s Hindman Feb. 27

Maria Howard Weeden portrait of an elderly woman, estimated at $5,000-$7,000 at Freeman's Hindman.

CINCINNATI — Freeman’s Hindman’s American Historical Ephemera and Early Photography sale on Tuesday, February 27 features documents, historical artifacts, and photography from throughout American history, with a focus on the pioneering figures and key moments that shaped the African American experience during the last 300 years. The complete catalog is available for bidding at LiveAuctioneers.

The leading lot of the sale is Roll, Jordan, Roll, number 122 of a total press run of 350 books signed by author Julia Peterkin and photographer Doris Ulmann. Published by Robert O. Ballou in 1933, the book is a sympathetic and non-stereotypical view of former slaves living in the Gullah coastal region of South Carolina. It carries an estimate of $8,000-$10,000.

A Reconstruction-era broadside political poster alerting voters to how their votes would be interpreted with regard to ‘Negro suffrage’ is another top lot. It reads in part, “Every Republican vote is a vote for Negro suffrage / In favor of Congress compelling us to let the Negro vote.” Published by the Democratic campaign of Charles T. Molony, his message was apparently heard as he went on to win his New Jersey State Assembly race. The broadside is in fair condition with some areas of loss; its estimate is $7,000-$9,000.

Another New Jersey-related item focuses on the Republican Party’s attempt to push voting rights for Black males in the 1868 election. It is estimated at $3,000-$4,000.

Maria Howard Weeden (1847-1905) was an Alabama-based poet and artist who published and signed her works as ‘Howard’ Weeden. Her sympathetic portraiture of emancipated Blacks earned her great respect throughout her career, and even exhibitions in Europe. This watercolor of an elderly woman has an estimate of $5,000-$7,000.

This carte de visite of Frederick Douglass was imaged by J. B. Roberts around 1867 at his Rochester studio, located at 58 State Street. The lot notes describe it as “Possibly a previously unknown image”, though it resembles another image in the Rochester Public Library collection. It is estimated at $2,000-$3,000.

Slotin plans back-to-back sales of folk pottery face jugs, quilts and African American memorabilia Feb. 10-11

Lanier Meaders face jug with double row of teeth, estimated at $1,000-$2,000 at Slotin.

BUFORD, Ga. — Folk art specialists Slotin kicks off its 2024 season with back-to-back online sales featuring folk pottery, jugs and handmade quilts on Saturday, February 10, followed by the Richard Harris African American Experience collection liquidation on Sunday, February 11. Both catalogs are now open for bidding at LiveAuctioneers.

Collectors of Lanier Meaders (1917-1998) have a whopping 20 lots from which to choose in the sale. Best known for his face jugs, Meaders inherited the Georgia pottery works his grandfather founded in 1893, which was later operated by his father Cheever. The alkaline-glazed stoneware he produced is coveted today. The top-estimated Lanier Meaders face jug, at $1,000-$2,000, features a double row of teeth in the finish, something rarely found in Meaders’ collected works.

Lanier’s brother Edwin also checks in with seven lots featuring his trademark blue rooster designs. Standing out from the blue glaze is this early ash-glaze green rooster in mint condition. Undated, the rooster is estimated at $1,000-$2,000.

Rounding out Day One is a fine selection of handmade quilts. Affairs of the Heart by Aie Rossman won first place at the AQS International Quilt Show in Nashville, Tennessee and measures 102in square. It is estimated at $800-$1,200. Elizabeth Spannring won second place at the AQS International Quilt Show and first in the Road to California Quilt Show in 2005 with Temperamental Tulips?, an 85in square machine-appliqued and -assembled design. It is similarly estimated at $800-$1,200.

At 293 lots, the African American Experience sale on February 11 is a moving historical review of Black history from slavery days to the civil rights era of the 1960s and beyond. Runaway slaves were a constant problem for their owners, as seen in this 1854 broadside offering $100 for the capture and return of a man called Henry to his owner, Alexander Spottswood Grigsby, who was a prominent Fairfax County, Virginia, businessman and slave dealer. The broadside is further distinguished by its mention of the fact that Henry escaped from the county jail along with a white inmate, a 25-year-old man named James Henry Beach, who was being held on a felony charge. It is uncommon to see broadsides from this era about black and white individuals who escaped together or at the same time. The historical artifact carries a $6,000-$8,000 estimate.

Enemies of the slave trade were known as abolitionists, and they used common imagery of a kneeling, chained slave begging for mercy as a way of identifying their organizations and eliciting sympathy for their cause. This trade sign for the Anglo American Abolitionist Society is undated but certainly from the 19th century. Made of carved wood, the 57in figural sign is estimated at $2,000-$4,000.

Also featured in the February 11 sale is a collection of 21 lots of Black Panther-related materials, with an emphasis on numerous editions of the group’s Intercommunal News Service newspapers. The highest-estimated lot, at $1,500-$2,000, is The Black Panther Manifesto, a 1970 poster issued by the Panthers during chairman Bobby Seale’s imprisonment for contempt of court as he was facing prosecution for inciting riots at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. Featuring excellent artwork by Black Panther Emory Douglas, it focuses on an illustration of Seale strapped into an electric chair next to a lengthy statement made by Black Panther Minister of Information Eldridge Cleaver.

Photos and broadsides should post good numbers at Hindman, Nov. 3-4

Half plate copy daguerreotype of Zachary Taylor, estimated at $10,000-$15,000
Half plate copy daguerreotype of Zachary Taylor, estimated at $10,000-$15,000
Half plate copy daguerreotype of Zachary Taylor, estimated at $10,000-$15,000

CINCINNATI – Hindman will present the collection of James Milgram, M.D. as the cornerstone of its American Historical Ephemera and Photography Auction, taking place Thursday, November 3 and Friday, November 4. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.

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1865 Lincoln manhunt broadside sets auction record at Heritage

An 1865 broadside promising $100,000 for information leading to the capture of President Abraham Lincoln's assassin sold for the record-setting price of $275,000 at Heritage Auctions in late September.
An 1865 broadside promising $100,000 for information leading to the capture of President Abraham Lincoln’s assassin sold for the record-setting price of $275,000 at Heritage Auctions in late September.

DALLAS – It was a rarity made for what has been called “the most important manhunt in American history” … and the savviest of collectors knew it. A $100,000 reward broadside issued by the U.S. War Department, April 20, 1865, created after John Wilkes Booth assassinated President Abraham Lincoln, sold for a record $275,000 to lead Heritage Auctions’ Sept. 25-26 Americana & Political Auction, including the Brook Mahoney collection of George Washington Inaugural Buttons, to $2,170,799 in total sales.

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Heritage sale includes poster offering reward for Lincoln’s assassin

An 1865 U.S. government broadside promising $100,000 for help catching the assassin of President Abraham Lincoln will be offered at Heritage Auctions in September, estimated at $50,000+.
An 1865 U.S. government broadside promising $100,000 for help catching the assassin of President Abraham Lincoln will be offered at Heritage Auctions in September, estimated at $50,000+.
An 1865 U.S. government broadside promising $100,000 for help catching the assassin of President Abraham Lincoln will be offered at Heritage Auctions in September, estimated at $50,000+.

DALLAS – One of the few surviving copies of a $100,000 reward broadside issued by the U.S. War Department on April 20, 1865 for information leading to the arrest of the assassin of President Abraham Lincoln will appear in Heritage Auctions’ Americana & Political Signature Auction Sept. 25-26. It is estimated at $50,000+. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.

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