Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS

SUPPORT PROVIDED BY

Support ANTIQUES ROADSHOW by supporting public television! Give Today
  • ON TV
  • ON TOUR
  • WATCH ONLINE
  • WEB EXCLUSIVES
  • RESOURCES
  • SHOP
  • The Roadshow Archive

    "Harriman Expedition" with Edward Curtis Photos, ca. 1899

    Appraised Value:

    $30,000 - $40,000

    Appraised on: August 23, 2008

    Appraised in: Hartford, Connecticut

    Appraised by: Daile Kaplan

    Category: Photographs

    Episode Info: Hartford, Hour 2 (#1317)

    Originally Aired: May 18, 2009

    slideshow IMAGE: 1 of 2 Next 

    More Like This:

    Form: Photograph, Nature photography, Black and White
    Material: Silver iodide, Silver bromide
    Period / Style: 19th Century
    Value Range: $30,000 - $40,000

    Related Links:

    Understanding Our Appraisals
    Useful tips to keep in mind when watching ANTIQUES ROADSHOW

    Comment

    Appraisal Video: (2:59)

    appraiser

    Appraised By:

    Daile Kaplan
    Photographs
    Vice President & Director of Photographs
    Swann Auction Galleries

    Appraisal Transcript:

    GUEST: These are a set of photo albums that were souvenirs given to the members of the Harriman Expedition. My great-grandfather, De Alton Saunders, was one of the scientists on the expedition. But of interest in this case is the photographer for the expedition was Edward Curtis.

    APPRAISER: Well, you've brought in the two-volume set known as "The Harriman Expedition." And you mention Edward Curtis, who, of course, is a very important factor in this expedition. Curtis had just started his career as a photographer in the Northwest, in the Seattle area, and was invited to become a member of this important expedition, so it was his first major assignment. The Harriman Expedition was, as you said, a scientific, a naturalist, an environmental expedition. Harriman was interested in mapping the topography of Alaska and having scientists engage in different experiments. Now, Dr. Saunders was a specialist in...

    GUEST: He was a botanist. His nickname on this particular expedition was Seaweed Saunders.

    APPRAISER: Seaweed Saunders. Well, as we can see in this first photograph, the images are topographic, they're each captioned. In the lower left corner we can see an inventory number. As I turn the page here, you can see that the images also focused on Native people. Here we can see that Curtis is credited with having made these photographs.The Harriman Expedition was a very well populated expedition.

    GUEST: (chuckling) Yes.

    APPRAISER: Harriman not only invited scientists, but his entire extended family, to go on this adventure. So here we see some of the individuals that were participating. What's interesting about books like these is that you wouldn't expect them to contain original photographic prints, but these were presentation albums given by Harriman to members of the expedition, your relative being one of them. So these are actually original silver prints.

    GUEST: You're kidding.

    APPRAISER: Original silver prints with Curtis's signature down here in the negative. There were 251 photographs in total in both of the albums, and Curtis actually made 109 of them. An auction estimate for the pair of albums would be $30,000 to $40,000. It's a very desirable, fantastic chronicle of Edward Curtis's first photographic assignment. Thank you so much for bringing them in.

    GUEST: Oh, wow. Thank you. Oh, boy. Carry them gently, gently back to the house. (both laughing)



    WGBH This website is produced for PBS Online by WGBH Boston. ©1997-2014 WGBH Educational Foundation.
    ANTIQUES ROADSHOW is a trademark of the BBC and is produced for PBS by WGBH under license from BBC Worldwide.
    WGBH and PBS are not responsible for the content of websites linked to or from ANTIQUES ROADSHOW Online.
    PBS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.

    ROADSHOW on Facebook ROADSHOW Tweets ROADSHOW on YouTube