Printed & Manuscript African Americana
Swann Galleries held the first sale dedicated to Printed & Manuscript African Americana in 1996 to establish a market for material from this rich but widely-neglected history. The department has established strong auction records for figures such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and W.E.B. Du Bois, and, as the only major auction house with a department devoted to the field, has been instrumental in codifying the genre.
The top sale in the department was a previously unrecorded photograph of Harriet Tubman from a carte-de-visite album compiled in the 1860s, which reached $161,000 in March 2017. Additional highlights include the original artwork for A Night-Club Map of Harlem, by E. Simms Campbell, purchased by an institution in March 2016 for $100,000.