A photograph of the 1915 lynching of Leo Frank, a Jewish pencil factory superintendent, in Marietta, Georgia, was sold for $3,125 at an auction.
The warm-toned photograph on postcard stock includes a pencilled caption on the back by an unidentified hand with the words: “Hanging of Leo Frank.” It sold at Sotheby’s on Wednesday.
The seller of the postcard, a private New York collector, said he bought the postcard years ago. After realizing that he was never going to display the photo in his house (“too gruesome,” he said) and that there probably wasn’t much of a venue for showcasing it, he decided to put it on the block
He approached all the major auction houses, but they declined the offer. “The subject matter was too controversial,” he said.