Rare Garfield carte de visite brings $4,068 at Weiss sale A signed carte de visite of former President James A. Garfield, taken when he was a Union Brigadier General during the Civil War, sold for $4,068 at an auction held Nov. 14-15 by Philip Weiss Auctions
News-Antique.com - Nov 20,2009 - (OCEANSIDE, N.Y.) – A rare signed carte de visite of former President James A. Garfield – taken when he was a Union Brigadier General in the Civil War, prior to his assassination by gunshot at the hand of Charles J. Guiteau on July 2, 1881 – sold for $4,068 at an estate sale that was top-heavy with weapons and militaria, held Nov. 14-15 by Philip Weiss Auctions. Garfield himself signed the CDV.
Cartes de visites are a highly collectible form of early photography. They’re even more desirable when taken of known historical figures and signed. They were a type of small photo -- patented in Paris, France in 1854 by photographer Andre Adolphe Eugene Disderi -- and usually made of an albumen print (a thin paper photograph, mounted on a thicker paper card measuring 2 1/8 inches by 3 ½ inches).
The Garfield CDV was one of about 1,400 lots that changed hands in a sale that grossed more than $500,000. Around 200 people attended the event in person – at Philip Weiss Auctions’ showroom, located at #1 Neil Court in Oceanside – while phone, Internet and absentee bidding were active both days. “The phones rang almost non-stop, especially on Sunday, and we recorded close to 3,000 absentee bids,” said Philip Weiss. “We also had well over 500 registered online bidders, through Proxibid.com.”
Mr. Weiss attributed the success of the auction to the quality of items in the military collections. “This was all fresh-to-the-market merchandise,” he remarked, “and the true, dedicated collectors will come out in full force when they know they’re bidding on original items, not recycled inventory. We had an all right day on Saturday, but Sunday was when these great military collections were offered.”
Following are additional highlights from the sale. All prices quoted include a 13 percent buyer’s premium.
Two lots tied for top earner, each bringing $6,780. The first was a rare Smith & Wesson 320 revolving carbine and stock pistol with rifle butt feature (#48), exceedingly rare and in spectacular condition. It was made circa 1850. The other lot was a U.S. legal tender 1923 $10 note in superb/gem condition. Also, a rare and very fine 1870 $5 gold certificate (San Francisco) changed hands for $5,650.
A Sharps Model 1863 rifle, approximately 47 inches in length and made circa 1860-1870, was the highlight of the rifle category, fetching $4,850. Also, a Colt 6-inch police pistol sailed past its high estimate and realized $1,808; and a rare China war medal, issued in 1842 during the First Opium War (1839-1842) to Thomas Hyne, who served aboard the British ship H.M.S. Conway, commanded $1,243.
A group of around 100 lots of ocean liner postcards from the Ken Schultz Collection brought a combined $31,000; an incredible, museum-quality scale model of a Wells Fargo stagecoach, 33 inches long by 16 inches tall and made in the 1930s or ‘40s, breezed to $2,486; a Japanese Order of the Rising Sun (2nd class) medal rose to $2,260; and a Series 1865