GEORGE ARMSTRONG CUSTER CARTE-DE-VISITE

$1,400.00

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Item Code: 490-5568

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This seated view of the famous cavalryman is # K-70 in Katz’s study of Custer in Photographs. This one is backmarked “GUY B. DAVIS, SUCCESSOR TO / PHOTOGRAPHIC ARTIST C. MILLER, BURLINGTON VERMONT.” This is especially interesting since the 1st Vermont Cavalry, organized in Burlington, had served in Custer’s Third Division of the Cavalry Corps, likely guaranteeing the photographer an active clientele. The image shows Custer from the lower leg up, seated, resting one arm on the photographer’s chair, clad in the regulation frock coat of a Major General, though wearing his casual, broad-brimmed hat, turned up on one side, however, to still show off his mustache, goatee and trademark long curls. The details are good, with the legs and hands slightly soft in focus.

The original image is credited to John Goldin & Company, and made in May 1865. Katz shows six images by Goldin, all apparently at the same sitting and made around the time of the Grand Review. At this point Custer was at the peak of his fame, rivalled only perhaps just after his death at the Little Big Horn eleven years later. From the looks of it, Miller had taken the image from Goldin and Davis merely added his mark to Miller’s. We see no indication of a tax stamp on the reverse, so the this was probably sold sometime after August 1866 and may well have found a home in the photograph album of one Custer’s former troopers or officers. The condition is very good, with good corners, no folds or creases on the face and just a few small spots of foxing and a short bit of waviness on the reverse, not evident on the front. [ad] [PH:L]

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