Large, albumen carte-de-visite photograph of <<Mordecai Manuel Noah.>>

Auction 85 | Thursday, November 07th, 2019 at 1:00pm
Fine Judaica: Printed Books, Manuscripts, Graphic & Ceremonial Art

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Lot 18

Large, albumen carte-de-visite photograph of <<Mordecai Manuel Noah.>>

2.25 x 3.5 inch (photograph) on 3 x 5 inch period CDV card. Photographer’s copyprint below: “PECK / 78 Water St. / Newburgh, N.Y.”

New York: c. 1840’s

Est: $6,000 - $9,000
<<UNRECORDED PHOTOGRAPH OF MORDECAI MANUEL NOAH. SEEMINGLY ONLY THE SECOND KNOWN PHOTOGRAPH OF HIM.>> This larger format carte-de-visite of an elderly Mordecai Manuel Noah, is similar to both known images of him as an older man (one a painting, one a deguerrotype). Noah’s life spanned from 1785-1851, hence photographs of him are naturally, so very scarce. Only one surviving photograph of Noah is known; a daguerrotype, currently located in the Houghton Library, Harvard University, see$1i. The present unrecorded photograph is very similar to the painting of Noah as reproduced in the 1905 Jewish Encyclopedia. Indeed it is possible that our CDV was the basis for this well-known painting. See The photograph records the photographer’s name: Peck, of Newburgh, NY. Regarding Noah’s presence in the Newburgh area, located on the Hudson River just north of Yonkers: Noah was Sheriff and Surveyor of the Port of New York, he had also purchased a church building in Buffalo to set up a Jewish community - hence he certainly would have reason to travel through Newburgh. In the course of researching this photograph, Noah’s biographer, Jonathan Sarna, communicated “I placed all known images of Noah into my [book].” See Sarna, Jacksonian Jew: The Two Worlds of Mordecai Noah (New York, 1981). <<The present photograph does not appear in Sarna’s voluminous study. >>