Historical Prints

Here are some of our HISTORICAL PRINTS available for purchase:

One of Penfield’s Most Popular Harper’s Magazine Posters

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Edward Penfield. Harper’s May [1896] (Paris: 1898). Lithograph. Image size: 15.5″ x 11.25″. Frame size: 19″ x 14.5″. Poster near fine in an elegant gold-leaf period frame. $400
          This is #115 (of 256) in the celebrated Les Maitre de L’Affiche (The Masters of the Poster) series published monthly in Paris from December 1895 through November 1900. The series, the brainchild of celebrated poster artist Jules Cheret and his printer, Imprimerie Chaix, reproduced the poster work of 97 artists in a smaller, uniform 11″ x 15″ format. The plates are beautifully printed and entirely faithful to the originals.

The Washingtonian Movement: An 1840s Alcoholics Anonymous

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View of the Grand Mass Washingtonian Convention on Boston Common on the 30th of May 1844. (Boston: F. Gleason, 1844). Hand-colored lithograph. Image size: 8.5″ x 13.75″. Frame size: 14.5″ x 19″. Print shows even toning and a few stains to margins, but the image is clean. Frame is well nicked, with loss to surface paint. $425
          The Washingtonians were a temperance movement that anticipated Alcoholics Anonymous by 100 years. It was founded in Baltimore in April 1840 by six alcoholics who believed that by relying on one another they could remain sober. This was in contrast to the temperance movement that emphasized legislation over personal responsibility. Members proselytized to other alcoholics and welcomed them into their brotherhood. The movement met with spectacular success, reportedly recruiting as many as 600,000 members within a few years. This view celebrates the Washingtonians’ first and last national convention, which reportedly attracted thirty thousand people. But the movement, by then, was already in decline, splintering into a multitude of factions wanting to emphasize other controversial social reforms as well, such as prohibition, secular religion, political action, even abolition. This print was issued by Frederick Gleason. Long before his Gleason’s Pictorial Drawing Room Companion (1851), even before his Flag of Our Union (1846), Gleason attempted to compete with the Kelloggs of Hartford and Currier of New York in the printing of decorative hand-colored lithographs for the home market. This might be his first print. Based on the address (1½ Tremont Row), his time as a publisher of lithographs was short, no more than two years, ending at the latest in 1846. Scarce.

One of the Great Boston Lithographic Views

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Spindler, Bernard. View of Boston from Telegraph Hill, S. Boston / “B. Spindler del.” (Boston : Tappan & Bradford, [ca. 1853]). Lithograph, tinted in three colors. Image size 12.75″ x 22″, frame 26″ x 33″. Near fine, lower margin trimmed close, surface loss to margins. $2,800
          Though Tappan and Bradford were in business for only six years, from 1849 until 1854, in that time they established themselves as one of Boston’s most accomplished lithography firms. Pierce and Slautterback in their Boston Lithography 1825-1880 (1991) say the firm “produced superlative lithographs. Large and well drawn, they exhibit superior delicacy of handling and control of tonal range…. [Their prints] are characterized by a fine, soft, almost silvery quality. Instead of using the crayon to emphasize contrasts of dark and light, the firm tended to produce works displaying subtle modulations in tone. These skillful harmonies in the middle range were often further unified by the use of tint stones.” This description of their craftsmanship is expertly displayed in “View of Boston from Telegraph Hill” which shows several dozen figures — men, women, children, and dogs — on a beautiful day in Dorchester, South Boston, looking towards Boston Harbor and the city proper. The colors are bright and appealing and the print invites and rewards minute inspection. The artist, Bernard Spindler (1826-1965), was a recently arrived German immigrant. It is Spindler’s most famous work and one of Tappan and Bradford’s most reproduced views. Though invariably dated in library catalogs as being “c. 1854”, this is quite unlikely, since Bradford died in January and the firm was disbanded soon after, which is why we have identified it (rather arbitrarily) as being issued the previous year.

Bodmer on the Ohio River

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Karl Bodmer. “Cave-In-Rock. View on the Ohio” (Coblenz, London and Paris: [1839-42])
Aquatint engraving by Lucas Weber after Bodmer, attractively colored, attractively framed. Frame size: 23.5″ x 27″. Plate mark: 10.25″ x 13.75″. $400
          Swiss-born Karl Bodmer (1809-1893) was engaged by Prince Maximilian zu Wied-Neuwied (1782-1867) to provide a record of his travels in North America, principally among the Plains Indians. In the company of David Dreidoppel (Prince Maximilian’s servant and hunting companion), they arrived in Boston in July 1832, traveled on to Philadelphia, and then headed west across the Alleghenies to Pittsburgh and the Ohio country, visiting all the important German settlements en route. Their most important stop on their route west was at the utopian colony of New Harmony, Indiana, where the party spent five months. En route to St. Louis, which they reached on March 24, 1833, Bodmer, Prince Maximilian and Dreidoppel traveled down the Ohio River. About twenty-five miles beyond Shawnee Town, Bodmer sketched this intriguing geological rock formation known as Cave-In-Rock on the Illinois side of the river near Cave-In-Rock Island. The scene also includes an Ohio steamer flanked by two Ohio keelboats, all caught against a late evening sky. The area is now part of a National Park. After St. Louis, the trio set out for Indian country. A great early western American view by a master.

An Iconic New York Building

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CASTLE GARDEN 1850 (Jaques and Brother, NY: 1850). Frame size: 26″ x 38.5″. Image size: 13.5″ x 20″. Near fine. Hand-colored lithograph. This is a rare view of Castle Garden from the Battery when it was a theater in the harbor and before it became the land-locked immigrant processing center. In 1852, Jaques and Brother reissued this image in a smaller size to illuminate the cover of a piece of sheet music, the Castle Garden Schottische. According to Peters, Jaques and Brother operated out of the Broadway address from 1847 to 1853 and under the name Jaques and Brother from 1848 to 1852. $800

The First of Twelve

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Currier & Ives. The Great East River Bridge. To Connect the Cities of New York and Brooklyn. (New York: Currier and Ives, 1872) Lithograph, hand-colored. Frame size: 16″ x 18.75″. Image size: 8.5″ x 12.75″. VG with even toning and two black dots to image. Colors bright. In a 20th century French mat and frame. $500
          This is the first of twelve prints or imprints of the Brooklyn Bridge issued by Currier and Ives, which suggests the enormous popularity of views of this great 19th century architectural achievement. When this print was published, the bridge had only recently begun construction; it would not be finished for eleven more years. Though the artists of this image are anonymous, this view is similar to one Currier and Ives published two years later ascribed to Parsons and Atwater. Charles Parsons (1821-1910) in addition to supervising the House of Harper art department for more than 25 years, was a prolific artist for Currier and Ives, particularly famed for his marine views. Lyman Atwater (1835-1891) was one of the firm’s most skillful lithographers responsible for transferring Parsons’ image onto stone.

A Matching Pair of Campaign Posters from the 1844 Election

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N. Currier. Grand National Democratic Banner and Grand National Whig Banner (N. Currier, NY: 1844). Sheet size: 14″ x 10″. Both prints VG+, bright and attractive, mottled margins, professionally cleaned and backed on archival paper. Currier produced campaign prints in this style – replete with eagles, flags, and stars — for every election from 1836 to 1876. The Democratic party print features portraits of James K. Polk and George M. Dallas. The Whig party print features portraits of Henry Clay and Theodore Frelinghuysen. A classic pair. $1,200

From the 1840 Presidential Campaign 

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P. S. Duval. General Wm. H. Harrison/The Hero of Tippecanoe Fort Meigs and the Thames. (Philadelphia: Published at the Office of the U.S. Military Magazine, [1840]) Lithograph. Mat size: 21.5″ x 18″. Revealed image size: 14.5″ x 12″. Drawn on stone by James Queen. Lithographed by P.S. Duval. VG, in mat with minor dusting, sunning to image, and small chips to blank edge. $500
          Peter Stephen Duval, the most prominent Philadelphia lithographer of the 19th century, was born ca. 1804/5 in France, immigrated to Philadelphia in the fall of 1831 to accept a job as a lithographer with the printing firm of Childs & Inman. By 1837 he had established his own lithographic printing shop and remained in business until his retirement in 1869. The firm continued for a few years under the management of Duval’s son, Stephen. Duval died in Philadelphia in 1886. The print depicts Whig Party presidential candidate William Henry Harrison dressed in full military regalia holding a sword. A laurel wreath below the portrait names him as the hero of several War of 1812 battles. The Library of Congress catalog states that this portrait was issued by the publishers of the U.S. Military magazine as an 1840 political campaign print.

A Classic A. B. Frost Hunting Scene

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A.B. Frost. [AUTUMN HUNTING SCENE] c. 1900. Frame size: 11.25″ x 13.75″. Image size: 7.75″ x 9.75″. Near fine in an elegant weathered period frame. Arthur Burdett Frost (January 17, 1851 – June 22, 1928) was an early American illustrator and cartoonist. He drew for most of the major magazines of the day including Century, Scribners, Harper’s Weekly, Collier’s, Puck, and Life. He illustrated more than 90 books and is considered one of the great illustrators in the golden age of American illustration. He was renowned for his realistic hunting and shooting paintings and prints, of which he produced hundreds during his long career. $2,500

A Large Garfield Memorial from Puck’s Lithographers

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From the Cradle to the Grave. Scenes and Incidents in the Life of Gen. James A. Garfield. (Published by J.W. Sheehy & Co. Printed by Mayer, Merkel and Ottmann, N.Y.: 1881). Image size: 22.75″ x 19.5″. Tinted lithograph. A central portrait of Garfield, surrounded by seven portraits of family members and thirteen vignettes of scenes from his life. Mayer, Merkel, and Ottmann was known mainly for printing Puck and thousands upon thousands of trade cards. This poster is one of its largest and most ambitious efforts. $400

Abolitionist Horace Greeley During the Civil War

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[HORACE GREELEY] (A. H. Ritchie, NY: 1864). Image size: 12.75″ x 15.5″. Steel engraving. An uncommonly fine engraving of one of the country’s leading abolitionists, the editor of the New York Tribune, and future presidential candidate, with the original generous 2.5″ to 3.5″ border. $150

D.C. Johnston Pays the Bills

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David Claypoole Johnston. [Boston Gentleman] (Boston, c. 1830)
Watercolor. 6.25″ x 4″ revealed. Near fine. This is a charming and accomplished watercolor of an unidentified Boston gentleman in a 20th century gilt frame executed by D. C. Johnston (1799-1865), the great early American caricaturist. The attribution is definitive and is in character with similar Johnston watercolor portraits in the American Antiquarian Society collection. The portrait came to us with other Johnston work from the family in 2015. $500

Poignant Civil War Lithograph

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Hugh Young. Graves of the Highlanders. Soldiers Cemetery Knoxville, Tenn. (New York: Charles Hart, 1864) 26″ x 20.5″. Hand-colored lithograph. Near fine, with foxing and one short tear to margins. $750
          A lovely wartime lithograph of the Soldier’s Cemetery outside of Knoxville, Tennessee. The cemetery was the final resting place of men from the 79th N.Y. Volunteer Highlanders killed at the Battle of Fort Sanders. It was based on “a Sketch Taken By A Member of the Regiment [Hugh Young] March, 1864”. A solitary member of the regiment stands in front of the graves of the Highlanders, each with a name and details of death, while an officer and family stand at the right. Certainly one of the most poignant of all the prints produced during the Civil War period.

Black Union Soldiers in Battle

Kurz and Allison Civil War Battle Prints. Kurz and Allison, a major publisher of chromolithographs in the late 19th century based on Wabash Avenue in Chicago, built their reputation on large prints depicting battles of the American Civil War. This was an era of recollection among veterans and great interest by the public, and the company capitalized on this sentiment. In all, a set of thirty-six battle scenes were published from designs by Louis Kurz (1835–1921), himself a veteran of the war. The prints, while not accurate snapshots of any moment of the actual events, were highly successful at tapping into the public’s patriotic remembrances and sold well.

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Anon. “Battle of Olustree, Fla.” (Kurz and Allison, Chicago: 1894) 22″ x 28″. Near fine with considerable chipping to extreme margins. Depiction of an obscure Civil War battle that took place on February 26, 1864, featuring Black Union soldiers prominently in the fighting. Very rarely do Civil War battle scenes feature African-American soldiers. $625

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Anon. “Battle of Nashville.” (Kurz and Allison, Chicago: 1891) 22″ x 28″. Near fine with chipping to extreme margins. Depiction of a decisive Union Victory that took place late in the war on December 15-18, 1864, featuring Black Union soldiers prominently in the fighting. Very rarely do Civil War battle scenes feature African-American soldiers. $625

Kurz and Allison Civil War Battle Prints

During the 1880s and 1890s when the country was undergoing a feverish interest in all things Civil War, the firm of Kurz and Allison, of Chicago, built its reputation on a series of 36 chromolithographic views of Civil War battles. They were large (image size averaging 17.75″x 24.5″), colorful, and dramatic, if not entirely faithful, renderings of conflicts great and small. Periodyssey offers the following views:

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Battle of Antietam. September 17, 1862 (1888). (Chips and shadowing to margins). $250

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Battle of Bull Run. July 21, 1861 (1889). (Significant chipping to margins). $250

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Battle of Five Forks. April 1. 1865 (1886). $250

A Chromolithograph of a Montague Massachusetts Retreat

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LAKE PLEASANT, Mass. Hoosic Tunnel Route. (The Bufford Sons Lith. Co. Boston: circa 1890) Frame size: 24.75″ x 32″. Image size: 19.5″ x 26″. Chromolithograph in original frame and glass. Near fine. A beautiful, ornate full-color stone lithograph showing seven auxiliary views surrounding a central view of Lake Pleasant, which is in Montague, Massachusetts, on the old Hoosic Tunnel train line. When this lithograph was published, Lake Pleasant was a major evangelical camp ground. Today it is a reservoir. $800

Lincoln in “Warranted Oil-Colors”

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E.C. Middleton. [Abraham Lincoln] (Cincinnati, 1864)
Frame: 18″ x 23″. Revealed image: 16″ x 12″. Chromolithograph on canvas double matted in period frame in fine condition with Middleton’s publisher’s blurb printed on reverse. Historian Chris Lane writes: Elijah C. Middleton is widely regarded as one of the pioneers of chromolithography in America. Establishing his engraving firm in Cincinnati at mid-nineteenth-century, Middleton’s business benefited from the city’s prime location along routes of westward migration. Middleton and his partner, W.R. Wallace, ventured from engraving into chromolithography and produced the oldest surviving chromolithograph from Cincinnati (an 1852 certificate for a Cincinnati fire company). Middleton struck out on his own in 1861 as a “Portrait Publisher,” advertising his own gallery of printed portraits made with “warranted oil-colors.” His finely-rendered portrait of George Washington became an early icon in the world of chromolithography and gained attention as far away as Philadelphia, where lithography giant P.S. Duval commented on Middleton as a competitor. Desiring an accurate representation of Abraham Lincoln, Middleton actually solicited the President’s advice, sending a proof copy of the print and receiving in return a letter from Lincoln with both compliment and critique. The resulting portrait is the only instance in which Lincoln is known to have advised the artist for one of his portraits. $1,000

Beautiful Poster Art for Truth Magazine by PAL

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PAL (Jean de Paleologu). Truth for September ([American Lithographic Co, NY: 1901]). 28.5″ x 14″. Two-color stone lithograph. VG, archivally mounted, small tears at bottom professionally repaired. The flecks of white on the right edge of the rock are in the print. In 1901, Truth magazine became synonymous with sumptuous color printing. Each monthly issue was an object lesson in the art, from its beautiful covers by William de Leftwich Dodge, through its full-color features and supplements, to its memorable back page advertisements. It was only appropriate then that the magazine would promote its monthly appearance with an equally impressive advertising poster. PAL (1855-1942), the Romanian poster artist, had already made a name for himself in Paris when he emigrated to the US in 1900. He was the perfect choice for Truth’s publishers (the American Lithographic Co.) when they sought through these posters to link their magazine with up-to-date European stylishness. They contracted for a year’s worth of posters (though only nine were executed). The September edition offered here is from the middle of the run. All of the PAL Truth posters are rare. $1,200

A Chromolithograph of a Watertown Massachusetts Resort

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Dominick Drummond. THE GLEN, Coolidge Ave. East Watertown, Will Dow, Proprietor. (C.H. Baker Litho, 576 Washington St. Boston: circa 1890) Frame size: 24″ x 31″. Image size: 19.5″ x 26″. Chromolithograph in original ornate frame and glass. VG, evenly toned, some fading to colors and discoloration to bottom margin, not affecting image. A handsome full-color stone lithographed view of the grounds and building known as the Glen, a resort that operated on Coolidge Avenue from 1880 to the early 1900’s. The pond, known as Sawin’s Pond, is still there. $800

A California Bird’s Eye View

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Anon. Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, California. 1885. (Guy E. Grosse, Oakland, 1885). 20.25″ x 26.25″. Lithograph. VG, closed tears, surface loss to Gosse’s advertisement, cleaned, archivally backed. $2,000
          The last third of the 19th century saw an explosion of city pride in America. Dozens of entrepreneurial lithographers leapt into the market to supply bird’s eye views of thousands of towns across America. The densely populated Northeast received the most attention; views of southern and western towns are more rare. This view, unlike most of the others, was not published by the lithographer, but rather by a real estate agent, Guy Grosse, who wanted to promote property he had for sale on the outskirts of Santa Rosa. It was printed by the lithographic firm of Elliott & Co. of Oakland. It is a handsome view, featuring 17 vignettes of important city buildings and a key to 51 spots around the town. Scarce.