A portrait of a man by self-taught Alabama artist Bill Traylor (circa 1854-1949), mixed media on paperboard, sold for $31,200 (includes buyer’s premium) to top the country Americana sale held by Garth’s Auctions on September 11 in Delaware, Ohio. Although sources disagree on his birth and death dates, fudging a year or two on each end, there’s no dispute that Traylor was born a slave on a cotton plantation in the American South and witnessed emancipation as a child before working as a sharecropper as a free man. Late in life, in 1928, he moved to Montgomery, Alabama, where years later he lived on the street. In 1939, while in his 80s, Traylor began dabbling in art, initially creating works o
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