Lot #382
George A. Custer Signed Photograph

One of just two signed Custer portraits that we have offered

This lot has closed

Estimate: $10000+


One of just two signed Custer portraits that we have offered

Rare 4.25 x 6.5 bust-length portrait of George A. Custer sporting an impressive mustache, signed and inscribed on the reverse in crisp black ink, "Sincerely, your friend, G. A. Custer, Washington, D. C., Apl 16/76." Published by W. H. Illingworth of St. Paul, Minnesota. In very good to fine condition, with staining, soiling, and small areas of surface loss.

Illingworth was a renowned Western photographer who traveled with Custer throughout his 1874 expedition to the Black Hills, which is likely when this portrait was taken. Custer was in Washington to testify before the Senate Committee on Military Affairs and he stirred up some political controversy after insulting President Grant and his family. Grant at first demanded that Custer be removed from his post at Fort Lincoln but relented after the intercession of Custer's allies in Congress and Generals Sherman and Sheridan, who insisted he was the ideal candidate to lead an expedition against the Sioux. Returning westward to his post, Custer was killed in the Battle of the Little Bighorn just two months after signing this photograph.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Fine Autograph and Artifacts
  • Dates: #618 - Ended October 13, 2021

This item is Pre-Certified by PSA/DNA
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