Prang portrait card of Colonel Robert Cowdin


“Robert Cowdin.  Col. 1st. Mass Regt.”  From Officers of our Union Army and Navy.  Their Lives, Their Portraits.  Boston: L. Prang & Co., 1862.  Lithograph.   Ca. 3 1/2 x 2 1/2.   With some light spotting and canceled library stamp.  Else, very good condition.  With short biography.


A handsome portrait of Colonel Robert Cowdin from an unusual series of small cards of Union officers issued early in the Civil War by Louis Prang from Boston, better known for his later chromolithographs.   The card was issued in “Vol. 1” of a work entitled Officers of our Union Army and Navy, and Prang talks in the preface about future volumes, requesting officers to send him photographs and biographies.  However, this was the only volume issued.  Each portrait, based on a photograph, comes with a short biography, which Prang says was supplied either by the subject himself or “their intimate acquaintances and person friends.”