Pre-Civil War Views of New England Towns
John B. Bachelder (1825-1894), well known for his historical images of the Civil War, was also a fine landscape painter. He made his drawings on-the-spot, usually from an elevated vantage point just outside of the towns. Bachelder was concerned to present as accurate a picture of his subjects as was possible and his images are both precise and detailed. In 1856, he published a portfolio of twenty-two views of New England towns. The set is almost impossible to come by, so the images are usually found individually. Periodyssey offers the following two views:
A Brilliant 19th-Century Chromolithographer’s Window Placard
Alphonse Bigot. T. Sinclair & Co./Lithographers/Philadelphia. Chromolithograph. Image: 15 “ x 12”. Frame: 26” x 21.75. c. 1865. VG, on card stock, closely trimmed, not precisely square. $3,000
Thomas Sinclair is generally regarded as the greatest 19th century Philadelphia lithographer. A Scottish immigrant, he established his own firm in 1839 and dominated the field in his chosen city for four decades. This beautiful placard, probably printed in the 1860s when the firm was located at 311 Chestnut Street, features a central image of Senefelder at his drawing table, surrounded by three women representing the arts and sciences, and framed in Corinthian pillars and an elaborately decorated arch.. It was produced in several sizes. The Jay Last collection owns it as an 11” x 6” so-called business card (at that size we would identify it as a handbill). This version, probably the largest made, was intended for window display. We cannot find any sale or auction records for this placard. A great rarity.
A Monumental View of an Important Race
The Great Ocean Yacht Race: Between the Henrietta, Fleetwing & Vesta: Decr. 11th 1866. (New York: Currier and Ives, 1867) Chromolithograph. Large folio. Image: 17.75 x 28″ Frame: 29.75” x 39.25”. Near fine. Beautiful. $2,000
This spectacular print by the great Charles Parson (1821-1910) records the beginning of the 1867 transatlantic yacht race prompted by a $30,000 wager. The yachts Henrietta, Fleetwing, and Vesta left New York December 11 for the Needles, Isle of Wight. The Henrietta finished first having traveled 3,105 nautical miles. The Fleetwing came in distant second and the Vesta a close third. The unbelievably long full title reads “The Great Ocean Yacht Race: Between the Henrietta, Fleetwing & Vesta: The “Good Bye” to the Yacht Club Steamer “River Queen,” 4 Miles East of Sandy Hook, Light Ship, Decr. 11th 1866. The Henrietta arrived off the Needles, Isle of Wight, England at 5:45, P.M. Decr. 25th 1866, winning the race and making the run in 13 days 22 hours, mean time. The Fleetwing arrived 8 hours afterwards, and the Vista 1 1/2 hours after the Fleetwing.” There are two versions of this print: one a two-stone hand-colored lithograph and this version printed in color. Impressive.
The Fastest Pacer in America
Thomas Worth/ John Cameron. Pacing Horse “Billy Boyce” of St. Louis as He Appeared at Buffalo, N. Y. Aug. 1st 1868 Pacing … the Third Heat One Mile in the Fastest Time on Record 2:14 ¼.… (NY: Currier & Ives, 1868). Hand-colored lithograph. Large folio. Image: 17″ x 26.5″. Frame 28.5″ x 35.75″. VG, with foxing. $750
In New Orleans in 1855 the horse Pocahontas set an American record by pacing the mile at 2 minutes, 17 seconds. That record would stand for thirteen years, until the bay gelding Billy Boyce under jockey John Murphy paced the second mile of a three-mile race at 2 minutes, 15 ¼ seconds, and the third mile at 2 minutes, 14 ¼ seconds. Boyce’s record-setting pace held for eleven years. Harry Peters has stated (debatably) that “the firm of Currier & Ives is perhaps best known as the principal American publisher of pictures of horses.”” What isn’t debatable is that the prints they did produce were generally of a high and memorable quality. Currier and Ives memorialized Billy Boyce’s triumph with this handsome large folio print by Thomas Worth and James Cameron, both of whom signed in the plate. Though pacing in 19th century America was usually done with a jockey in a sulky attached to the horse, it wasn’t uncommon for jockeys to ride directly on the horse. However, far fewer prints of the period show jockeys in saddle. A handsome print, even with the foxing.