Jan. 27: Presidential autographs, maps, Civil War and rare books at Case Antiques
- by Sarah Campbell Drury, Guest Writer
Letters and books from the libraries of President George Washington and his early biographer and friend, the U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Marshall, constitute key lots in the Winter Case Antiques Auction, to be held January 27 at the company’s gallery in Knoxville, Tennessee. The items come from the estate of a direct descendant of Marshall, whose family also passed down items related to General Henry Dearborn (Secretary of War under Thomas Jefferson), Revolutionary War General Elias Dayton, and two Civil War officers. In all, the cataloged auction contains more than 100 lots of books, documents and historical ephemera from multiple consignors, including maps, Presidential autographs, Civil War-related material, historical documents, and rare books from the 17th through 20th centuries.
Leading the auction is the historical material from the estate of Charles Boyd Coleman of Tennessee, including a 1789 leather-bound copy of The Massachusetts Magazine (Vol. 1) signed by George Washington and bearing his coat-of-arms engraved bookplate; Marshall’s personal, signed copy of his biography The Life of George Washington (second edition, published Carey and Lea, Philadelphia, 1832), a 1799 ALS from George Washington congratulating Marshall on his election to the U.S. House of Representatives from the Richmond, Virginia area, and a silver gravy boat and red velvet coat remnant said to have been owned by Washington. The estate also yields a portrait of Marshall attributed to William James Hubard; Marshall letters; a four-volume 1825 set of Plutarch’s Lives owned and signed by Marshall; a rare lithograph of The University of Virginia, Charlottesville and Monticello by Edward Sachse; a Henry Dearborn archive including four buttons; a military commission signed by both Thomas Jefferson and Henry Dearborn, a military commission signed by James Madison and James Monroe conferring the rank of First Lieutenant on Greenleaf Dearborn, and commissions signed by Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren.
Lots from Coleman’s estate also include Civil War related items from ancestors who fought on both sides, such as an Instruction for Heavy Artillery handbook and archive of items owned by Lt. Col. Lewis Minor Coleman, CSA 1st Virginia Artillery; and Civil War period photographs from Chickamauga and Missionary Ridge from Charles H. Boyd, who served as Captain of the Topographical Engineers under Union General George H. Thomas. A Civil War era flag believed to have been owned by Captain Boyd will also be offered.
The auction features a number of maps, among them A New Map of Georgia by Emanuel Bowen, London, 1748; A Map of the State of Kentucky by J. Russell, 1794; and A New Map of the Cherokee Nation, uncut from the London Magazine, 1760. There is also a circa 1840 Atlas Geographique Fair by Sophie de Baure containing 20 hand-painted watercolor maps, along with numerous other early maps of Tennessee and the South, many of them from the collection of the late Dr. Benjamin H. Caldwell of Nashville.
Civil War buffs will find 2 Robert E. Lee signed letters (as president of Washington College); a Civil War era album with 15 Union Army and Navy officers and soldiers; Civil War archives related to the Francis Burton Craige family of North Carolina and Huggins and Medders families of Tennessee, CDVs of slave children from Union occupied New Orleans, and a hand drawn Civil War railroad map of West Tennessee. There is also an annotated copy of the Tennessee State Constitution, used during its 1834 Revision; land grants signed by Sam Houston and James K. Polk; slave related documents, and a collection of 18th century almanacs.
The print category includes the rare Currier and Ives Print Old Blandford Church, Virginia, as well as Audubon Bien edition chromolithographs of the Belted Kingfisher and Ferruginous Thrush, fine art prints, and a scarce mid-19th century printed view of the city of Nashville.
Rare books include Roll, Jordan, Roll by Julia Peterkin and Doris Ullman, signed by both the author and photographer; The Fishes of North America, Vol. 1 by William C. Harris; a collection of H.G. Wells books including a first edition of War of the Worlds, and a first edition of Lance Woolaver’s Christmas with Maud Lewis.
Rounding out the auction are approximately 800 other lots of fine art and antiques. The complete catalog, with full descriptions, price estimates, and photographs for items, in the order in which they will be sold, can be viewed online at www.caseantiques.com.
The auction will take place at Case’s gallery in the Cherokee Mills Building, 2240 Sutherland Avenue in Knoxville, on Saturday, January 27 at 9:00 AM EST. Online, absentee and phone bids will also be accepted. A preview will be held at the Knoxville gallery on Friday, January 26, from noon to 6PM EST or by appointment. For more information or to consign objects for a future auction, call the gallery in Knoxville at (865) 558-3033 or the company’s Nashville office at (615) 812-6096 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.