Buying Civil War Photographs


Buying Civil War Photographs

6th-plate ambrotypes of New Jersey brothers William and John Hewitt. William served with the 12th New Jersey, John with the 34th New Jersey. Both survived the war. (John Banks collection)

Original Civil War photographs are a popular and prominent sub-category of antique photography. Within the Civil War photography sub-category, four major formats dominate: stereo views, cartes de visite (CDVs), cased images and larger photographs. Reputable and well-established dealers in Civil War photographs include:


Jeffrey Kraus Antique Photographics:  This longtime dealer from New York always has a selection of Civil War stereo views, CDVs and other images.

Medhurst and Company Fine Images and Documents: Iowa-based Mike Medhurst has a large selection of hard images and CDVs.

The Civil War Image Shop: Matthew Fleming, who lives in Ohio, frequently updates his site, which features hard images and CDVs.

The Horse Soldier: Chet and Sam Small and family members have operated The Horse Soldier, purveyors of military Americana, in Gettysburg since 1971. They maintain a store in Gettysburg at 219 Steinwehr Avenue.

The Historical Shop: Louisiana dealer Cary Delery has been in business for almost 40 years and has a regular inventory of all types of Civil War photographs.

War Between the States Memorabilia: Len Rosa is another long-time Civil War memorabilia with a regular inventory of photographs, having started his business in 1978.


Cowan’s Auctions: Wes Cowan, an appraiser on PBS’s Antiques Roadshow and one of the History Detectives, has several auctions a year at his Cincinnati, Ohio, auction house that feature Civil War photographs.

Heritage Auctions: Based in Dallas, it features Civil War photographs in some of its memorabilia and militaria auctions.

Jefferson Stereoptics: Canadian dealer John Saddy, in business since 1981, holds several antique stereo view auctions each year and almost always has a section of original Civil War stereo views.

eBay: It has become a primary source of Civil War photographs for both collectors and dealers. Here’s the link for the  “Civil War” search in the antique photographs section.

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