September 2012 | Rebecca Rego Barry

Extant Americana

Catalogue Review: Extant Americana, #1

Screen shot 2012-09-13 at 2.13.24 PM.pngIf this is catalogue #1 from the New York City-based Extant Americana, our eyeglasses might be knocked off by forthcoming catalogues. There is so much visual punch on these pages, beginning with the cover illustration of a signed gelatin silver print of Fort Peck Dam by Margaret Bourke-White ($15,000).

How about a piece of watercolor folk-art depicting a black Union soldier holding some playing cards ($1,250). From the same period, a set of "extremely rare" hand-colored prints by Currier and Ives bound into a salesman's sample book, c. 1863 ($10,000). The prints are Civil War scenes, such as the bombardment of Fort Sumter and combat between the Monitor and the Merrimac. They show some foxing, but the colors are amazing.

The red-tinted tintype of a fireman and his dog is a fascinating piece ($2,250), as is (for all the wrong reasons) a real-photo postcard of the public lynching of John Heath in 1885 ($2,250). The rare German Army recruiting poster titled "Und Du?" by Ludwig Hohlwein is another striking image ($6,000).

Bright Buffalo Bill posters and circus posters, advertising broadsides, Civil War medical photos, and election ephemera are also offered throughout, not to mention important letters, presidential autographs, and cool things like an 1872 Skull & Bones Society gold lapel pin (in a group with a yearbook and additional cartes de visit; $2,750).

Nearing the end of this jam-packed catalogue, you'll find an original ink drawing by New Yorker artist Saul Steinberg that has never before been offered ($30,000) as well as a "women's rights" toy figurine depicting a crude caricature version of Sojourner Truth that is quite incredible to see ($10,000).

But's there more, so much more! You can download the full catalogue here: