UNRECORDED CIVIL WAR PHOTOGRAPH BY PIONEERING CONFEDERATE PHOTOGRAPHER & SOLDIER: CDV OF A PAINTING OF THE FALL OF FORT SUMTER, WITH A CONFEDERATE'S CONTEMPORANEOUS INSCRIPTION, AND REVENUE STAMP. [title from contemporary pencil inscription on verso]. (Charleston, SC): Osborn's Gallery, Cor.
Carte-de-visite photograph of a painting depicting the fall of Fort Sumter by an unknown artist. Albumen silver print (3.75 x 2.25 inches), on photographer's printed cardstock mount (2.5 x 4 inches; imprint on verso). The painting depicted in the photograph shows Confederate soldiers on the Fort's border, with the battleship Mayfly steaming out of the Battery, loaded with Confederate soldiers, as noted below.
Unknown Confederate's ink inscription on verso: Attack on Sumter. The day it was taken by our troops. The Mayfly leaving the Battery, filled with confederates for its relief- I think you may like to own this.[whether this is the inscription of a Confederate soldier, or sympathizer, remains to be determined]. Very good condition, with light wear and soiling to mount, tiny crease to the photograph at one corner; sharp focus and good contrast. Photographer's blue, 2-cent revenue stamp affixed to verso, dated "June, " with photographer's initial. He owned a photo studio, Osborn's Gallery, Cor. Both photographers served as soldiers with the Confederate Army, and Osborn was one of the Civil War's first photographers, and one of the photographers to take the first ever combat photograph along with George S.
Cook, during a subsequent attack on Fort Sumter. For a fine and detailed article about the photographer, which chronicles his wartime service as photographer and Confederate soldier, please see House, "Charleston's Civil War Photographers: Osborn and Durbek, " p. Battlefield Photographer: Newsletter for the Center for Civil War Photography. I have so far been unable to locate another example of this image, in any way, shape, or form, and certainly no other example of this Confederate photographer's CDV.
Osborn's photographs are quite rare, in part due to the lack of availability of photo chemicals during the war leading to small editions, and are seldom seen on the market.