Here are some of our HISTORICAL PRINTS available for purchase:
Two Bird’s Eyes by the Great O. H. Bailey
H. Bailey (1843-1947) was one of the most prolific of the bird’s eye view artists. Reps said of him: “During a career that spanned fifty-six years, Oakley Hoopes Bailey produced about 375 recorded city views, an achievement surpassed only by his longtime friend and sometime associate, Thaddeus M. Fowler.” Bailey began his career in the midwest in 1871 and moved to Boston in 1875. Reps says from 1874 to 1877, “Bailey’s name appears on prints, with only a few exceptions, as both artist and publisher.” These two prints are such exceptions. He continued producing bird’s eye views until 1926, long after all of his competitors had vacated the field. In 1930, at the age of 87, he dispelled the notion that bird’s eye artists used hot air balloons. He said in a published interview that each drawing “involved a vast amount of painstaking detail hand work, as each job required…going along every street and sketching in the buildings, trees and other objects so as to make a complete and accurate view.” The heyday of the bird’s eye view was the last quarter of the nineteenth century. They are remarkable documents of an America on the cusp of extraordinary change.
H. Bailey. Bird’s Eye View of Clinton, Mass. 1876 (Milwaukee: C. G. Vogt, 1876) Image: 18.5″ x 27″. Mat: 26.5″ x 33″. Multi-tinted lithograph. VG+ with a few repaired short tears. $1,250
H. Bailey. View of New Britain, Conn. 1875 (Milwaukee: C. G. Vogt, 1875) Image: 20″ x 25.75″. Mat: 26.5″ x 32″. Multi-tinted lithograph. VG- with a few repaired tears, a few light stains to the sky, and discoloration and wear to margins. $1,000
A Scarce Anti-Jackson Cartoon
Anon. The Golden Age or How to Restore Pub[l]ic Credit (probably New York: probably 1833-34). Image: 10″ x 17″. Mat: 15″ x 22″. Lithograph. VG+, evenly toned, tears and loss to edges not affecting image. $1,200
This cartoon depicts Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren trampling on the U.S. Constitution while walking beside a wagon full of money labeled “salary for foreign ministers” being pulled by administration men Roger Taney and Amos Kendall as oxen. They travel through a devastated landscape of collapsing houses and beggars. Weitenkampf dates this cartoon as being from 1837, the New York Historical Society dates it from 1836, and Harvard dates it from 1833. The Harvard date is the most likely, because Jackson is clearly the more dominant character here, with his vice president, Van Buren, in a subordinate role. And Jackson carries a quill labeled “veto”, which undoubtedly refers to his 1832 veto of the U. S. Bank recharter, which led to a tightened money supply and widespread financial distress. Also, Taney was Treasury Secretary in 1833-34, whereas in 1836-37 he was serving as chief justice on the Supreme Court. Oddly, in 1953 Weitenkampf listed five institutional holdings: the American Antiquarian Society, the Boston Public Library, the Harvard library, the New York Historical Society, and the Library Company of Philadelphia. Checking their catalogues today, only the Library Company appears to have a copy.
A Very Early Image of a Skier
Dan Smith. Christmas Herald Out Next Sunday (New York: New York Herald, 1899). 22.75″ x 15.5″. Broadsheet. Near fine, with light horizontal crease and minor chip to lower right margin. $100
Skiing was just gaining popularity in the United States when this beautiful full-page, full-color newspaper illustration was drawn by Dan Smith (1865-1934), the talented journeyman artist whose work appeared in numerous magazines and books around the turn of the century. The sport had been brought to this country by Scandinavians who settled in the upper midwest. Though the first ski jumping competition in America was held in 1888 (in Ishpeming, Michigan, Will Bradley’s hometown), the sport was slow to gain traction, unlike bicycling and golfing during the same period. The National Ski Association of America wasn’t even founded until 1904. This image is so scarce that it was unknown to Gary Schwartz when he published his valuable The Art of Skiing 1856-1936 (1989). Handsome.
A Majestic View of the Senate in 1850
James M. Edney. Daniel Webster Addressing the United States Senate, in the Great Debate of the Constitution and the Union 1850 (New York: James M. Edney, 1860). Lithograph. Image: 22″ x 29.75″. Sheet: 28″ x 33.25″. Near fine, backed with archival paper. $800
This impressively large engraving depicts Massachusetts Senator Daniel Webster speaking in the Old Senate Chamber on the Compromise of 1850. Webster was known as one of the greatest orators of the Senate and this speech was regarded as his last important one. In an effort to save the Union, in his view, he lent support to a package of bills that included the Fugitive Slave Law. He could not have anticipated the angry backlash this prompted. For many in Massachusetts, his support for the law was unforgivable. The print features a full view of the U.S. Senate chamber in session. At lower right, Daniel Webster stands with raised right hand addressing the Senate. Each senator in attendance is carefully depicted, including Stephen Douglas (to the right of Webster), John C. Calhoun, Vice President Millard Fillmore (presiding at center), and Jefferson Davis. The visitors’ galleries above are full of men and women. The coffered, domed ceiling arches over a portrait of George Washington, an eagle, and the United States shield. A facsimile key to the portraits accompanies the engraving. OCLC locates no copies, but the American Antiquarian Society and the Library of Congress each hold one.
Columbia Gives McClellan the Cold Shoulder
H. L. Stephens. How Columbia Receives McClellan’s Salutation from the Democratic Platform. ([New York: 1864]) Handbill. 7.5″ x 8.75″. VG with loss to lower left corner. $400
In 1864, the Democratic party adopted a platform that called for a negotiated peace with the Confederacy. General McClellan accepted the Democratic nomination but repudiated the peace platform. This cartoon by the Vanity Fair veteran H. L. Stephens chastised the candidate for the glaring discrepancy. In the cartoon, Columbia tells the audience: “What a shame that a man who was educated at my expense, and whom I have since honored and petted, should have allowed himself to be allured by ambition into such company, and upon such a Platform! His Letter cannot conceal his real position, nor hide those odious (grave) planks; neither can it reconcile me to his traitorous companions. I DISCARD BOTH HIM AND THEM FOREVER.”
What makes this cartoon particularly interesting is that during Vanity Fair’s run (1859-1863), Stephens was a Union Democrat. It appears that by 1864 he had abandoned his party in favor of Lincoln.
A Rare Multi-Tinted Civil War Lithograph
J. G. Keyser. “1862 Campain (sic) sketches of the 24 Reg. N.J. vols. 1862” (Stuttgart : J.C. Hensler, ) Multi-tinted lithograph. Image: 17″ x 20″. VG-, mended tears, minor ripples, discoloration to margins. Mounted on acid-free paper. $1,800
This colorful Civil War artifact was drawn by John G. Keyser of Bridgeton, NJ, a private in the 24th Regular New Jersey Volunteers, lithographed by C. Kolb, and printed by J. C. Hensler of Stuttgart, Germany. It depicts vignettes of scenes and sights familiar to the 24th, including “Barracks at Beverly N.J.,” “U.S. Vol. refreshment saloon Phila.,” “Camped in Baltimore,” “Camps Ingham East Capitol Hill,” “Camp Nixon, Chainbridge,” “Camp at Aquia Creek.” “Pickets near Langley’s, Va.” (two views), “Camp Kearney, Fort Marcy,” “Pickets near Fairfax Co., Va.,” ” Camp Cumberland, Va.,” “Camp Knight, Va.,” and “Lacy House near Fredricksburg, Va.” The images are surmounted by a scroll bearing the title of the print and by flags recording the battles of Fredricksburg and Chancellorsville, an eagle and a shield flanked by allegorical figures. Little is known of John Keyser. Prior to the Civil War, he emigrated alone from Germany to Bridgeton, New Jersey, and established a business as sign painter. With the advent of the Civil War, he traveled to Camp Cadwallader in Beverly to witness and sketch the mustering in of the New Jersey 24th. These sketches are preserved in the Cumberland County (NJ) Historical Society. Through the demonstration of his talents, he enlisted as a private and was designated as the regiment’s artist. Other Civil War art by Keyser survives. After the war, Keyser returned to Germany where in his final years his sister cared for him. He never returned to the United States. Worldcat lists a single holding (Boston Athenaeum). Rutgers University and UC Santa Barbara also own the print.
A Beautiful Lithograph of an Elegant Connecticut Home
Thomas Bonar. “Compo House. The Residence of Richard H. Winslow Esq. at Westport, Conn.” (NY: Thomas Bonar, c. 1855). Image: 16.25″ x 22.5″. Frame: 22.25″ x 28.5″. Colored lithograph. VG+, with two hardly noticeable long tears into image, visible mainly in margins. Framed under plexiglass in a handsome mid-20th century brass frame with a linen mat and metallic bevel. $500
This print depicts the elegant Westport, CT, home of Richard H. Winslow, a state representative and senator, built in 1853 on the designs of architect F. le Moulnier. The property also included guest houses, elaborate gardens, and servants’ and gardeners’ quarters. When Winslow died in 1861, the estate passed into the hands of Stephen Alden, a Westport attorney. Bonar reissued the print sometime in the 1860s with Alden’s name on it. The mansion no longer exists. It was torn down in the 1970s, after serving for many years as a sanitarium (and, in its final incarnation, a vacant party house for Westport teenagers). The iron gate is all that remains. Worldcat lists no holdings; the Library of Congress owns the original printing; AAS owns the reissue.
An Art Nouveau Classic
Frank Hazenplug. “The Chap-Book” (Chicago: Stone and Kimball, 1896) Image size: 20.5″ x 14″. Frame size: 29″ x. 22.75″. Near fine. $800
Second only to Will Bradley, Frank Hazenplug was a star in the Stone and Kimball firmament. An Illinois native, he was just twenty when he joined the newly formed publishing house. In addition to designing and decorating Stone and Kimball books, he was a cover artist and poster designer for Stone and Kimball’s Chap-Book. Hazenplug created ten posters in all for the famous little literary magazine. After the magazine folded in 1898, he continued to work for H. S. Stone and Company. Between the turn of the century and World War I, his services as a book designer were in much demand, especially by Chicago publishers. This is one of his most handsome posters for the magazine.
A Pencil-Signed Courtroom Scene
William Gropper. “Objection“ (c. 1960s). Lithograph. Image size: 12″ x 7.5″. Frame size: 20″ x 16″. Near fine. $100
The career of the great William Gropper (1897-1977) began in the heady days of WWI socialism and ended in the waning years of the dreary Cold War. He was most visible during the twenties and thirties as a major contributor to the radical magazines, The Liberator and The New Masses, and to more mainstream publications, such as Vanity Fair. He had many admirers, even those who thought he should be in jail for his support of Communism, because of his fluid and economical line. His career was dotted with major shows of his work and he received his fair share of attention in the radical sixties, when being an old lefty wasn’t so much of a crime. Much of his later commercial work focused on the political and legal arenas. This image is one of many that he drew depicting an everyday courtroom scene.
A Poster Advertising America’s First Avant Garde Magazine
Thomas Fleming. “M’lle New York Fortnightly“ (Fleming, Schiller, and Carnick Press: NY: [March] 1896). Colored lithograph. Image size: 17″ x 12″. Frame size: 26″ x 21″. Near fine, with modest crimping to the left edge of the poster paper. Attractively double-matted and framed. $400
M’lle New York is widely regarded as America’s first Avant Garde magazine. It made no effort to be in step with American culture; in fact, it disdained American culture, as the French accented title implied. Instead, the magazine attempted to appeal to a select elite: “the aristocracies of birth, wit, learning, and art.” It was a very small audience indeed with the cultivated open-mindedness to appreciate the magazine. It was the brainchild of Vance Thompson, journalist, autodidact, and Francophile. Assisting him in the enterprise was James Gibbon Huneker, who would later become the greatest arts critic of his generation, and cartoonists Thomas Fleming and T.E. Powers, who never again produced more interesting work. As befitted a magazine on the cutting-edge, it was the first publication to introduce America to the work of Maeterlinck, Ibsen, Hamsun, Verlaine, and Munch. The magazine had a languid, shocking sexuality about it, depicting gauzy-clad full-breasted women embracing death or being leered at by apes or dwarves. More in keeping with its time, it displayed an overt anti-Semitism throughout its run, featuring a number of demeaning stereotypical images of Jews and publishing such drivel as: “Jewish children are more intelligent than ours at the age of puberty; however, they lose as they grow. They are at once nearer Nature and the ape.” Though Blacks were also portrayed stereotypically, the magazine celebrated the work of several Black poets. It foreshadowed the little magazines of the teens and twenties, exuding a European decadence long before it became a defining cultural movement. This poster by the magazine’s chief artist is the eleventh in a series of fourteen posters produced during the life of the magazine to advertise its existence. Scarce.
The Concert to Top All Concerts
(National Peace Jubilee) Rheimunt Sayer. “Exterior View of Coliseum for the Grand National Peace Jubilee, Boston Mass,…1869” (Boston: New England Lith. Co., 1869). Image: 14″ 18.75″. Frame: 20″ x 24.75″. Hand colored lithograph. Good with three dime-sized water drops visible on the sky at right and a stain to the right of the caption. Framed under plexiglass in a handsome mid-20th century brass frame with a linen mat and metallic bevel. $400
The Grand National Peace Jubilee was a musical celebration organized by Patrick Gilmore that took place in Boston over four days in mid- June 1869. It featured an orchestra and a chorus, as well as numerous soloists. More than 11,000 performers participated, including the famous violinist Ole Bull as the orchestra’s concertmaster and Carl Zerrahn as director of the choral forces. The Coliseum was a temporary building erected for the event near today’s Copley Square in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood. Historian Richard Hansen says the event was the “high-water mark in the influence of the band in American life.” Worldcat locates two holdings; AAS also owns a copy.
A Beautiful Boston Street View
(Boston) G. Klucken. “Henry T. Spear & Son, Wholesale Dealers in American Watches, Jewelry… Boston…” (Boston: unknown printer, c. 1875). Image: 17″ x 20.25″. Frame: 23.25″ x 26.25″. Colored lithograph. Near fine except for vertical burn line, visible mainly in the sky. Framed under plexiglass in a handsome mid-20th century brass frame with a linen mat and metallic bevel. $3,200
This beautiful print depicts a busy Washington Street block in the center of Boston’s business district, bustling with pedestrians and carriages. The paper label at the bottom of the print advertises Spear & Son, which was active from 1861 to 1894 and at this second floor address in the mid-1870s. Presumably the enterprising publisher of the print offered every business on the block the opportunity to purchase a supply of the view with their own specialized advertising label affixed. I was unable to locate any holdings or auction records of this print.
A Charming Lithograph of an 1880s Upstate New York Resort Town
(New York State View) Anon. “Lakewood, N.Y. On Main Line of the New York, Penna, and Ohio Rail Road” (c. 1880). Image: 19″ x 27.25″. Frame: 25″ x 33″. Colored lithograph. VG with short tears at left and right oval edges. Framed under plexiglass in a handsome mid-20th century brass frame with a linen mat and metallic bevel. $1,000
Lakewood is a village in Chautauqua County, New York, located at the south end of Chautauqua Lake. This beautiful view attempts to lure summer vacationers to the town, touting its idyllic setting and convenient location, being on the main line of the New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio Railroad. The Kent House and the Lake View House, depicted in the background, were both built in 1875 and survived into the 1880s. Worldcat lists no holdings.
A Beautiful Art Deco Portrait
Charles F. Quest. [Woman in hat and gloves]. (1930) Watercolor. Image size: 9” x 8”. Mat size: 19” x 18”. Near fine. $400
This is a beautiful art deco portrait of a woman in hat and gloves, presumably for publication, by the illustrator, artist, and teacher Charles Francis Quest (1904-1993). Quest studied painting and sculpture for five years at the Washington University School of Fine Arts in St. Louis, earning both his Bachelor and Master Degrees of Fine Arts. After studying briefly in Europe, he made a career in the arts. In 1944, he returned to Washington University as a member of the faculty, where he taught until 1971. Quest painted murals for churches, schools, and other public buildings. He also worked in sculpture, stone carving, mosaic and stained glass, but is best known for his paintings and woodblock prints. His work is owned by at least forty-six museums in the United States and abroad, and has been exhibited in more than a hundred museums and galleries around the world. He had one-man exhibits at the Smithsonian Institution in 1951 and at the St. Louis City Art Museum in 1958. His papers and various works of art are housed at Georgetown University, in Washington, DC. A lovely piece.
One of Penfield’s Most Popular Harper’s Magazine Posters
Edward Penfield. Harper’s May  (Paris: Les Maitre de L’Affiche, 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
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
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
Karl Bodmer. Cave-In-Rock. View on the Ohio (London and Paris: Coblenz, [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
Jaques and Brother. Castle Garden 1850 (New York: Jaques and Brother, 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
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.
From the 1840 Presidential Campaign
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, ) 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
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
J. W. Sheehy. From the Cradle to the Grave. Scenes and Incidents in the Life of Gen. James A. Garfield. (New York: Published by J.W. Sheehy & Co. Printed by Mayer, Merkel and Ottmann, 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
A. H. Ritchie. [Horace Greeley] (New York: A. H. Ritchie, 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
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
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.
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:
Battle of Nashville. (Chicago: Kurz and Allison, 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
Battle of Antietam. September 17, 1862 (Chicago: Kurz and Allison, 1888). (Chips and shadowing to margins). $250
Battle of Bull Run. July 21, 1861 (Chicago: Kurz and Allison, 1889). (Significant chipping to margins). $250
Battle of Five Forks. April 1. 1865 (Chicago: Kurz and Allison, 1886). $250
A Chromolithograph of a Montague Massachusetts Retreat
Anon. Lake Pleasant, Mass. Hoosic Tunnel Route. (Boston: The Bufford Sons Lith. Co., c. 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”
E.C. Middleton. [Abraham Lincoln] (Cincinnati: E. C. Middleton, 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
PAL (Jean de Paleologu). Truth for September ([New York: American Lithographic Co, 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
Dominick Drummond. The Glen, Coolidge Ave. East Watertown, Will Dow, Proprietor. (Boston: C.H. Baker Litho, 576 Washington St., c. 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
Anon. Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, California. 1885. (Oakland: Guy E. Grosse, 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.