Description

    Confederate Lt. Col. Walter H. Taylor 1/4th Plate Melainotype, The Only Known War Date Hard Image Of Him. We are living in a desperate age in which the prices for Confederate hard images are skyrocketing regardless of their quality. Physically flawed and unidentified photographs of enlisted men can easily fetch hundreds of dollars in today's market. Prices for identified and/or armed rebels routinely rise to the four-figure level. With "common" Confederate photography generating such excitement, we are indeed proud to offer this superb cased tintype of Lt. Colonel Walter Herron Taylor, General Robert E. Lee's aide and the Assistant Adjutant General of the Army of Northern Virginia. The son of an ancient Virginia family, Taylor was born in Norfolk in 1838 and graduated with VMI's Class of 1857. His post-graduate business career was barely launched when interrupted by the onset of the Civil War. Obtaining a staff position with the then obscure Lee in 1861, Taylor served directly under the South's beloved icon untill war's end. When the General assumed command of the Army of Northern Virginia, Taylor's duties were broadened considerably. He handled communications to and from headquarters, enforced protocol and gathered intelligence for General Lee. His insider's position allowed Taylor to witness firsthand the grand decision-making behind the Confederate war machine. Taylor came to the general public's attention with the close of hostilities thanks to the media of the day. On April 16, 1865 a series of Brady photographs were taken at Lee's home in Richmond. The general proudly wore his Confederate uniform for the last time for this session. Among the albumen prints sold from the series was one titled "General Lee and His Staff" in which Taylor stands to Lee's left. Thanks to this commercial production Taylor was forever associated with the revered Lee. This from-life studio portrait is a refreshing departure from the albumen paper images of Taylor. This melainotype would have been taken after December 12, 1863 when Taylor was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. He's wearing a regulation field grade officer's gray frock coat with a double row of buttons down the front. These are painted gold by the photographer, who also tinted the uniform piping a light blue. Taylor's collar carries the three stars officially reserved for a full Confederate colonel and his sleeves are decorated with twisted gold braid. The surfaces of this image are gorgeous, being free of the blistering and emulsion cracks so often present on Civil War tintypes. Additionally, the tonal contrast is of the highest quality making this picture look almost like a well-made ambrotype. The brown leather case is fairly worn and is missing one attachment hook. Overall this is a superb and unique Confederate photograph worthy of the finest institutional archive or private collection. Ex. William Turner, author of Even More Confederate Faces.

    Estimate: $40,000 - $50,000.

    Fees, Shipping, and Handling Description: Small Collectibles (view shipping information)

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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2006
    1st-2nd Friday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 9,662

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