DescriptionBob Younger: A Rare Cabinet Photo Taken at Stillwater Prison in 1889. The boys' sister, Henrietta, obtained permission from the warden to have a local photographer take photos of the brothers, and arrived at the prison with a suit of clothes for each one and the photographer in tow. Perhaps she was aware that the end was near for Bob, who died just weeks later of tuberculosis and complications from wounds he had received at Northfield.
Heritage sold a pair of cabinets similar to this and the adjacent lot in our June 2013 auction of the Wilbur Zink collection. However, the pair offered here differs in significant ways from those two photos. The Zink pair, while also issued by the Stillwater photographer, appear to be a "second edition;" the details are sharper on the present examples, and there is a "halo" around Bob's head which had disappeared on the Zink version. Also, the copyright stamps on verso differ: On the Zink versions it reads "Copyrighted 1889..." while on the present pair it reads "Copyright 1889..." Additionally, the pair offered here has gold leafing around the edges, not present on the Zink examples. Both have the same stamped signatures below the portraits.
Condition on both photos offered here is nothing short of spectacular - near mint, and as nice as any cabinets of this era which we've ever handled. Each 4.125" x 6.375".
Prior to handling the Zink collection we had never seen these individual images before, nor had experts we consulted. More familiar is the cabinet photo showing all three younger brothers along with Henrietta. It is said that the prison warden, while he accommodated the request to have the pictures taken, was determined that they not be used for financial gain (a plan which is suggested by the fact that they were copyrighted). His intervention could well account for their extreme rarity.
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