Lot 282

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G.A. Custer PSA Mint 9 Brady CDV Signed with Rank, Best Signature/Pose We Have Ever Seen

A Mathew Brady carte de visite depicting George A. Custer (1839-1876), signed and inscribed by Custer verso as: "Sincerely Your / friend / GA Custer / B Maj Genl / USA." N.d. but ca. 1865-1866. The sepia-colored albumen photo is mounted on a stock card printed "Brady" and "Washington" along the bottom recto, and with a backstamp verso reading "Brady's / National Photographic / Portrait Galleries, / Broadway & Tenth Street, / New York, / No. 352 Pennsylvania Av. Washington D.C." Encapsulated and PSA/DNA certified and graded Mint 9. Expected light wear commensurate with age including even toning and isolated blunted corners, else near fine. The carte de visite measures 2.375" x 4" while the slab measures 4.125" x 7.25." In one of our past sales, we had a CDV signed by Custer on the front but the pose was not as good as this one, and the signature, while magnificent, would probably grade below the present example. It sold for $34,375.

Custer's inscription "B Maj Genl USA" provides a 14-month-long time frame, ca. 1865-1866. Custer had been promoted to the rank of Brevet Major General of the Regular Army on March 13, 1865, and he would receive his next promotion within that force, Lieutenant Colonel, in late July 1866.

Custer's early military career was nothing less than meteoric. He secured no fewer than 12 long-term and brevet promotions between 1861-1865, including the rank of Brigadier General in 1863 and the rank of Major General in 1865. He became one of the Union Army's youngest generals at age 23. Custer participated in nearly all of the major engagements of the Civil War, including the Battles of Bull Run, Antietam, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Wilderness, and Yellow Tavern (during which Custer's peer, the Confederate cavalry commander J.E.B. Stuart, was mortally wounded), along with the Sieges of Yorktown and Petersburg. The Michigan Cavalry Brigade that Custer commanded (also known as Custer's Brigade or the Wolverines) became one of the most well-seasoned fighting forces of the Union Army.

Mathew Brady (1822-1896) photographed Custer on several occasions, both in the studio and on Civil War battlefields. Brady dominated antebellum and Civil War-era American photography. An established photographer, Brady became even more well-known for his celebrity photographs and his gruesome battlefield photographs.

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.


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December 14, 2022 11:00 AM EST
Wilton, CT, US

University Archives

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Bid Increments
From: To: Increments:
$0 $99 $10
$100 $299 $20
$300 $499 $25
$500 $999 $50
$1,000 $1,999 $100
$2,000 $2,999 $200
$3,000 $4,999 $250
$5,000 $9,999 $500
$10,000 $19,999 $1,000
$20,000 $49,999 $2,500
$50,000 + $5,000