PHILADELPHIA PHOTOGRAPHIC COMPANY COPY OF BRADY FEBRUARY 1864 CDV OF CUSTER

$1,050.00

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Item Code: 490-5570

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This is one of a small group of photos Custer had taken at Brady’s Gallery in New York City on or about February 15, 1864, shortly after marrying Libbie Bacon in Michigan on February 9. Katz has numbered them K-28 to K-33, of which this is #29. The newlyweds had traveled east by train and stayed in New York City from about February 13 to 17. Custer is shown seated, shorn of his locks for his wedding, and is wearing a regulation brigadier general’s frock coat, considerably less flashy than many of his outfits and perhaps more proper for a respectable married man. This is a copy shot published and backmarked by the Philadelphia Photographic Company / 730 Chestnut St. Philadelphia. The focus is a bit soft on the body from the copying process, but his face is good. The condition of the card is very good, with good corners and edges, no bends, folds or spotting. The reverse has a pencil identification and collector’s or dealer’s price code, along with the printed retailer’s stamp. There is no indication of the tax stamp required on photographs sold from about August 1864 to August 1866. The National Portrait Gallery posits and active date of 1862 (with a question mark) for the operation of the Philadelphia Photographic Company. Our ace research team, however, finds them in a Philadelphia city directory first in 1866. One of our researchers, with a dedication bordering on the obsessive, went so far as to discover two photography operations at their Chestnut Street address in 1865: a G. Langdell and also the firm of Miles and Foster (Thomas Miles and Samuel N. Foster,) making them likely suspects in the establishment of the company about that time, since information for the directory was likely gathered in the preceding year.  [sr] [PH:L]

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