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    Description

    Confederate Citadel Graduate Family Portrait. A stunning late 1850s 1/4th plate daguerreotype by Charleston, South Carolina photographic firm Tyler & Co. Shown is Citadel Cadet George Archibald McDowell (Class of 1862) with a younger brother and two sisters. Together, these young people make a fine antebellum grouping of budding aristocrats. Cadet McDowell, standing ramrod straight, strikes his best military pose in a short gray uniform jacket, white waistcoat and white trousers. His demure sisters are dressed in high Victorian fashion while his younger brother is decked out in formal black. The idyllic world evoked by this serene image was about to be shattered by the oncoming Civil War. After graduation, George McDowell served as an aide to Colonel Alfred Rhett and as a private in Aiken's Regiment of South Carolina Cavalry. On February 9, 1864 he was killed in action on John's Island during the lengthy siege of Charleston. A younger McDowell brother - perhaps the one shown here - was also killed in defense of Charleston. The daguerreotype is enhanced by the most delicate of tinting with gilt on the girls' jewelry and dabs of gold on McDowell's buttons. The tonal contrasts and surfaces of the image are superb. Housed in a brass matt stamped by the photographer. The case is of wood and leatherette construction with normal wear. Ex. Rex Stark Collection. Included with the image is a gold filled fraternity pin that belonged to George McDowell during his days at the Citadel. Measuring 1" x 1.5", the pin carries his initials on the back. The face shows a palmetto above the letters "CPS" and amid the date "1847". This pin indicates membership in the "Cadet Polytechnic Society", which was founded in 1847 to promote discourse on literature. An image of McDowell wearing this pin is in the Citadel's collection.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2006
    1st-2nd Friday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 6,254

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