Antiques & The Arts

Albumen Prints of Fort Monroe, ca. 1860 | Web Appraisal | Richmond

GUEST: 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. APPRAISER: 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. GUEST: Does the spot of photo loss materially
affect the quality of the image? APPRAISER: 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. GUEST: Wow. I think I paid $10 a piece. So I think it sounds like I did pretty well.

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