Printed & Manuscript African Americana: March 30, 2023 Auction Highlights

Lot 77: Manuscript broadside of the 13th Amendment signed by the Vice President & 111 congressmen, Washington, 1865. Estimate $80,000 to $120,000.

Our March 30 Printed & Manuscript African Americana sale will offer an outstanding manuscript broadside of the 13th Amendment ending slavery, signed by the Vice President and 111 congressmen. It is one of a handful of commemorative copies circulated in the halls of Congress for signatures.

The slavery era is documented by a correspondence archive of Richmond slave dealers — Dickinson, Hill & Co. Bidders will also have the opportunity to view an unpublished minute book of the African Civilization Society from the papers of the abolitionist Theodore Bourne; important Black abolitionists Martin Delany and Henry Highland Garnet were among the leaders of the organization.

The field of African American visual art is documented through exhibit posters and catalogues, two pieces of illustration art by Loïs Mailou Jones, and a wonderful archive of 35 personal letters by the sculptor Richmond Barthé. Selections for music collectors include an archive of photographs, negatives, and slides taken or developed by jazz great Dizzy Gillespie.

Left: Lot 98: Archive of signed letters from the sculptor Richmond Barthé to a close Jamaican friend, 1966-85. Estimate $25,000 to $35,000; right: Lot 210: Archive of photographs, negatives, and slides taken or developed by Dizzy Gillespie, various places, 1951-85. Estimate $10,000 to $15,000.

Related Reading

A 1949 issue of the Negro Motorist Green Book is fresh to market, as well as an extensive archive from a 1964 participant in Freedom Summer. Perhaps the strongest section of the sale related to Black participation in the Civil War, including a diary by the surgeon of the famous 54th Massachusetts Infantry (the “Glory” regiment); the scarce original source photograph of the controversial engraving “United States Soldiers at Camp William Penn”; and an outstanding full-length profile portrait of a Black cavalryman.

Lot 243: Diary of the surgeon from the famed 54th Massachusetts Infantry, and related photos, 1863. Estimate $20,000 to $30,000.
Left: Lot 242: Full-length profile portrait of a Black cavalryman, tintype, circa 1863-65. Estimate $10,000 to $15,000; right: Lot 164: Freedom Summer archive of civil rights activist Karen Haberman Trusty, Atlanta, 1963-64.  Estimate $5,000 to $7,500.
Lot 250: The original photograph of “United States Soldiers at Camp William Penn,” albumen, Philadelphia, circa 1864. Estimate $10,000 to $15,000.

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