VERY UNUSUAL AMBROTYPE OF A CS CAVALRY TROOPER

$2,950.00

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Item Code: 1138-1885

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This is nice ambrotype of sixth plate size shows a Confederate first lieutenant in gray frock coat, seated next to a table with a floral cover on it and large book on which he rests one elbow, with his other hand on one thigh. Our man has combed his hair back and wears a full chin beard. He would appear to be in his mid-to-late twenties. The photographer has very lightly tinted his cheeks red. His coat shows nine-buttons down the front, which the photographer has lightly touched with gold, and two buttons show on one cuff. In the manner of many early war Confederate officers, he still uses the shoulder straps of the “old army,” which show a dark base and lighter center with bullion borders that the photographer has also highlighted with gold.

His coat collar is tall and shows stripes at top and bottom that have also been gilded. This might be simple piping for the collar, but the coat does not show it elsewhere and it does not come down the front edge of the collar, opening the possibility that he in fact also wears the specified Confederate first lieutenant rank insignia of two gilt bars on the collar, in this case merely spaced widely. Such duplication of the rank insignia shows up in other photos of CS officers, particularly early in the war, either to make sure their rank is recognized by those unfamiliar with the new Confederate regulations or as a hold-over from state regulations, which usually followed those of the U.S., at least in insignia of rank.

This comes from the collection of the late Bill Turner, noted Virginia collector and dealer and is likely a Virginian. It is housed in thermoplastic figural case. The facing pad is missing and, unfortunately, the hinge is cracked, but this has not affected the image.  [sr] [ph:m]

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