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    This great lot of features iconic images of Wells, Fargo & Co. Express men on the border of Mexico, and two images very well armed railroad guards. This lot actually consists of four (4) items total-- (1) Mexican border office Imperial card photograph measuring 9.25" x 6.5" - and (2) large cabinet cards of armed Railroad Police or guards measuring 6.5" x 5.5" and 6.5" by 5" - and (1) Shipper's Certificate for W. F. & Co. insurance form.

    The first image is a unique W. F. & Co. office circa 1890, which is on the border in California, or just inside Mexico. In this unusual image, one side of the office sign is in Spanish, the other side in English. Written on the glass in reverse painted gold on the left side of the image is the Spanish version, "EXPRESS de WELLS. FARGO Y CIA." On the right side of the image in English is "WELLS, FARGO & CO'S EXPIRES". All of the men in the photograph are identified in period ink, with the men on the left having the prefix denoting their work in Mexico, "G. Blanco Mex. Customs Clerk -- S.J. Gatlin Mex. Express Off." A man on the right has his identification broken off the card, but "--- & Los Angeles" is written under him, meaning this is likely in California. The glass is reflecting the names of stores across the street, one of which is clearly, "La TIENDA--", which simply means "the store--". Interestingly, there is a rare image of a Hispanic or African-American cowboy standing to the far right, who must have worked for the office in some capacity as he is also identified. This image has several significant breaks in the card, which have clipped all the corners, and a tear runs to the base of the image through the handwritten identifications but does not affect the image. Despite this extensive handling wear, the image has superb and rich tonality, and the focus is very sharp.

    The second set of images features a nice, slightly oversize cabinet card shot of Railroad or Express Agents displaying large badges, pistols, and six rare "Repeating" Spencer Rifles in front of a railroad car. A great image of well-armed agents, this is identified on the reverse as, "Brookside 1902". The group shot is mounted on a textured white mount cabinet card consistent with ca. 1900. The other image is mounted on a grey card measuring 6.5"x5", and shows four Express agents in the door of a building, one of whom has a pistol and holster. These cards both have a light caramel-colored contrast, and there has been some fading in the group shot. The last item is a shipper's insurance certificate that is from a Mexican Revolution-era collection, ca. 1915. This is an extensive lot, which should require the attention of any Wells, Fargo and Co. collector.

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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2008
    16th Monday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 427

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