Henry Peter Bosse Photos Of The Mississippi Appraised At $4.5 Million
While you may not have heard of Henry Peter Bosse before today his work was recently valued at $4.5 million by Sotheby’s auctioneers and a single album of his work is now sitting in a federal vault, protected from the elements and possible thievery.
Boss’ work surrounds a set of photographs taken of the Mississippi river in the 1880’s and showcases how the river changed and morphed with the times. The new value is significant because it has tripled over the last 20 years after spending more than 50 years aboard a dredge vessel where it went unnoticed.
Born in Prussia in 1844 Boss was schooled in both engineering and art which allowed him to map out the Mississippi for the US Army Corp of Engineers while also documenting his work with a trusty camera.
A historian who tracked down the album told the Star Tribune:
“He set things up like a painting and captured the first major transformation from the natural to the commercial river.”
That historian says the album sat on the dredge from 1937 to 1989.
Since the photos are property of the U.S. government they will soon be sent to the Minnesota Historical Society where they can be displayed and studied.
Are you surprised to learn that photographs of the mighty Mississippi are so valuable?