Photo of Joseph Jenkins Roberts for sale in Cowan’s Auctions
Cowan’s Auctions launched its first sale dedicated to African American culture in mid-February. Leading the event is an early daguerreotype of Joseph Jenkins Roberts, the first and seventh president of Liberia. Roberts was born to free black Americans in the early 1800s before settling in Liberia. He helped establish Liberia as a republic and led the state before and after the American Civil War. The available daguerreotype shows Joseph Jenkins Roberts in the 1840s. It was taken before all previously known Robert’s images.
The upcoming auction traces the history of the African American experience from the 18th century to the civil rights movement of the 1960s. One of the key lots is a recording of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s 1956 speech at a convention of the National Association of Black Funeral Directors. Few copies of these 33 RPM vinyl records were produced and this is the first to go up for auction. The catalog also features photographs of the civil rights movement, including a press photograph of Dr. King's 1965 march in Montgomery, Alabama. He is shown arm in arm with the Rev. Ralph Abernathy, James Foreman, the Rev. Jesse Douglas, and John Lewis.
Prehistoric Pieces From the Art Gerber Collection
Before Arthur Joseph Gerber Jr. became involved in photography and art collection, he served as a medic in the US Air Force. Gerber wrote a memoir titled The Art Gerber Story during the last years of his life. The book describes his interest in ancient hunting artifacts, photography, and travel. The next sale, presented by Cowan's Auctions, features numerous artifacts from the Art Gerber collection. The event is the third and final auction featuring his collection.
The catalog features several key pieces from the Ohio Valley. One of the highlighted lots is "Snowy" and "Little Snowy", a pair of anthropomorphic Mississippian effigy figures made of aragonite. This particular type of aragonite is believed to be unique to Wyandotte Cave in Crawford County, Indiana. A quartz flagstone, bone hook beads, loose beads, strung bangles, and partial atlatl hook will also be available.
American and European Fine Arts and Antiques for Sale in Cowan’s Auctions
Gunther Granget was one of the best sculptors in the world, famous for his figures of wild animals. Born in Germany, Granget's interest in nature developed when he was a child. The artist accompanied his father in studies of the land and often drew birds and animals. Granget started working for Lorenz Hutschenreuther, a Bavarian porcelain factory, at the age of 24. The artist became one of the best sculptors in the factory and continued to work there until his retirement. Cowan's upcoming auction event features Hutschenreuther bisque porcelain figurines from Granget. One highlight is First Lesson, a figurative group from the series titled Birds of Forest, Field, and Stream. Granget's realistic sculpture depicts a family of ducks in the reeds.