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Alamo Ephemera

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3.     [ALAMO]. Print, photographs, post card, pamphlet. Lot of five Alamo ephemera:

POTTER, R[euben] M[armaduke]. “The Fall of the Alamo,” in The Magazine of American History with Notes and Queries Edited by John Austin Stevens, in Vol. II, No. 1, January 1878, pp. [1]-21 plus map: Plan of the Alamo by Capt. R.M. Potter. U.S.A., neat line to neat line: 14.4 x 13.4 cm. Imprint and collation of entire issue: New York & Chicago: A.S. Barnes & Company, 1878. [2], 64, [16, ads] pp., steel engraved portrait of William Walton at front. 8vo (25.2 x 19 cm), original grey printed wrappers. Light wear and dust soiling to wraps, interior with occasional light foxing, overall a very good copy. Second edition of preceding (Item 2 herein), with author’s corrections and additions, including more detail on the Alamo plan. Raines, p. 167.

[GENTILZ, Jean Louis Théodore]. Photograph of painting by Gentilz depicting the fall of the Alamo. N.p., n.d. [San Antonio, ca. 1885, based on Gentilz’s copyright at lower center of painting]. Boudoir card (albumen print mounted on card with printed identification label on verso). Image: 11.8 x 19 cm; card: 12.8 x 20.4 cm. Old ink inscription on verso: “Fall of the Alamo March 6th 1836.” Printed label on verso commences: The Picture Represents that part of the action: When a Mexican Column, after having been repulsed twice, enters the San Valero Plaza and storms the Convent…. Image with cracks in lower corners, small chip from lower left corner, and flaws in emulsion along left and top edges, light scattered foxing to image and card, a bit of wear to card edges, overall good.

This photograph is as close as one may get to the original painting by Gentilz, which was destroyed in a fire in 1906. The painting in this photograph represents Gentilz’s conception of one moment during the battle of the Alamo. References: Dorothy S. Kendall, Gentilz Artist of the Old Southwest… (Austin & London: University of Texas, 1974). Pauline A. Pinckney, Painting in Texas: The Nineteenth Century (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1967), pp. 99-118: “Gentilz made the painting The Fall of the Alamo, which exists now only in photographic reproductions…. It is important documentary material, for the artist had access to eye witnesses of the fatal morning…. The depiction of the old mission is an example of the artist’s skill in architectural perspective and layout. Gentilz noted the fact that he consulted Francisco Antonio Ruiz as well as others in making this painting” (p. 108). Susan Prendergast Schoelwer, et al., Alamo Images: Changing Perceptions of a Texas Experience (Dallas: DeGolyer Library & SMU Press, 1985), p. 89 (including illustration). Sam DeShong Ratcliffe, Painting Texas History to 1900 (Austin: University of Texas, 1991), Figure 22 & pp. 25-32: “Gentilz’s version contrasts strikingly with other paintings of the battle. He views it with a technical, passionate eye and does not concern himself with presenting heroes or villains. Instead, Gentilz was intent on producing an accurate reconstruction of the scene.” Cecilia Steinfeldt, Art for History’s Sake (Austin, TSHA & SAMA, 1993), pp. xxi (see also pp. 80-103 for catalogue of Gentilz paintings). Gentilz (1819-1906) was born in Paris, received training as a draftsman, painter, and engineer, and came to Texas in 1844 to serve as surveyor for Henri Castro’s colony in Texas. For many years Gentilz taught painting at St. Mary’s College in San Antonio. A number of Gentilz’s paintings depict events contemporary to him that he felt would be of historical importance. For more information see Handbook of Texas Online: Jean Louis Théodore Gentilz.

[GENTILZ, Jean Louis Théodore]. Photograph of painting by Gentilz: Death of Lieut. Dickinson. N.p., n.d. [San Antonio? 1880s?]. Boudoir card (albumen print mounted on orange card with printed identification label on verso). Image: 11.4 x 18.8 cm; card: 12.8 x 20.4 cm. Approximately 1 x 2 cm void in top left corner of image (possible manufacturing defect), otherwise fine.

This photograph shows Lieutenant Dickinson kneeling and holding a small child with a white flag. Behind him is a group of soldiers, some with bayonets pointed at his back. Facing him is a mounted Santa-Anna and his officers, all with drawn blades. Printed label on verso commences: Death of Lieut. Dickinson (Episod [sic] of the Fall of the Alamo) After the firing ceased, General Santa Anna made his entrance…. Although Lieutenant Almaron Dickinson did, in fact, fall while defending the Alamo, the story depicted in this image is most likely spurious. Gentilz’s painting of the incident is owned by the Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library in San Antonio. See Schoelwer, et al., Alamo Images: Changing Perceptions of a Texas Experience, pp. 117-188 & Plate 7.

[POST CARD-BLOTTER]. “The Alamo, Built 1718, San Antonio, Texas—5.” N.p., n.d. Half-tone colored Real Photo front view of the Alamo, trimmed down and pasted to card stock to form an ink blotter, 7.5 x 14 cm. Fine.

WADE (artist). Ruins of the Church of El Alamo [lower left and right of image] Wade [artist] | Brown [engraver]. Boston: Gleason’s Pictorial Drawing Room Companion, February 18, 1854. Wood engraving with touch of original hand coloring, image and title: 15.5 x 24.5 cm. Poor condition, browned and chipped (affecting only a small segment of sky at top). Kelsey, Engraved Prints of Texas, 1554-1900, p. 35 & Figure 4.64. Schoelwer, “The Artist’s Alamo: A Reappraisal of Pictorial Evidence, 1836-1850” in SWHQ, Vol. 91 (illustrated at p. 444). Schoelwer, et al., Alamo Images: Changing Perceptions of a Texas Experience, p. 47 (illustrated): “Clearly based on Everett’s earlier facade view [see Item 5 herein]. In adapting the latter, Gleason’s artist has cleaned up the site, removing rubble from the foreground and tufts of grass from atop the walls, embellishing the facade with a more decorative arched window above the door, and adding several groups of well-dressed Anglo-American tourists and a fancy carriage. Where Everett had seen a battle-scarred ruin, the American public saw a serene, stylish promenade ground.”


Sold. Hammer: $1,000.00; Price Realized: $1,200.00

Auction 22 Abstracts

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