Albumen Prints of Fort Monroe, ca. 1860

Value (2014) | $1,500 Auction$2,500 Auction

I ran across these photographs about five years ago. I believe that they are actually from Fort Monroe, Virginia which is located in Hampton. In 2011, President Obama declared Fort Monroe a national monument. I know that is was known as Freedom's Fortress. General Benjamin Butler, during the US Civil War, was stationed at Fort Monroe, and he announced that any slaves who came to Fort Monroe would be contraband of the US government and would receive their freedom.

It's a very important part of our Civil War history, part of the Emancipation. The photographs themselves are albumen prints and they are the original prints from the 1860s. The condition is quite good. There's a little bit of visible foxing which is a form of mold that appears on paper due to exposure to humidity. But the foxing doesn't appear to harm the photographs in any way. It's mostly on the border of the mounts that the photographs are on.

Does the spot of photo loss materially affect the quality of the image?

It looks like it's part of the original photograph, so it's not a matter of damage or deterioration, more a flaw in the original processing. I would give you an estimated value at auction of between $1500 and $2500 for the pair.

Wow. I think I paid $10 a piece. So I think it sounds like I did pretty well.

Appraisal Details

Robert Klein Gallery
Boston, MA
Appraised value (2014)
$1,500 Auction$2,500 Auction
Richmond, VA (August 17, 2013)

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