18th Century Prints, 19th Century Prints, Copperplate, Engraving, Lithograph, Mezzotint, Portraits, Prints

Benjamin Franklin Portraits

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) is considered to be one of the greatest of all of our founding fathers. A highly intelligent man, over his lifetime he was an able scientist, a writer, printer, and publisher. He was one of the most successful diplomats that the United States ever had. During the Revolutionary War, he acted as American Minister to France, successfully gaining French support for the American cause. He was also the only person who signed all four of the key documents in American history: The Declaration of Independence; The Treaty of Alliance with France; The Treaty of Peace with Great Britain; and The Constitution of the United States.

Below are several portraits of Benjamin Franklin. Some artists chose to portray him as a scientist, some as a political figure, but all are stately and handsome portraits of this fine leader.

B. Franklin of Philadelphia.  L.L.D. F.R.S. By Benjamin Wilson. Mezzotint engraving, 1761. Engraved by James McArdell (1728-1765). Second state of two. The painter, Wilson, was also an experimenter with electricity. He met Franklin soon after his arrival in London and received Franklin commissions to paint family members. Here Franklin is depicted with a book titled "Electric Expts."  A static-electricity machine (the glass globe on a table) appears at right. To the rear a boldtof lightning flashes dtrikes down toward a distant city.

B. Franklin of Philadelphia. L.L.D. F.R.S. By Benjamin Wilson. Mezzotint engraving, 1761. Engraved by James McArdell (1728-1765). Second state of two. The painter, Wilson, was also an experimenter with electricity. He met Franklin soon after his arrival in London and received Franklin commissions to paint family members. Here Franklin is depicted with a book titled “Electric Expts.” A static-electricity machine (the glass globe on a table) appears at right. To the rear a bolt of lightning flashes strikes down toward a distant city. LINK.

Benjamin Franklin. From a painting by Greuze, at the Boston Athanaeum formerly owned by Jefferson. By Joseph-Silfrede Duplessis. Lith & Published by S.W. Chandler & Bro. 204 Washington St. Boston. Lithograph, 1854. The original painting for this print was originally owned by Thomas Jefferson. After Jefferson's death, it was sold to the Boston Athenaeum. Jefferson's originally attributed the painting to the artist Jean-Baptiste Greuze. It was later re-attributed to Joseph-Silfrede Duplessis. LINK.

Benjamin Franklin. By Joseph-Silfrede Duplessis. Lith & Published by S.W. Chandler & Bro. 204 Washington St. Boston. Lithograph, 1854. The original painting for this print was originally owned by Thomas Jefferson. After Jefferson’s death, it was sold to the Boston Athenaeum. Jefferson’s originally attributed the painting to the artist Jean-Baptiste Greuze. It was later re-attributed to Joseph-Silfrede Duplessis. LINK.

Benjamin Franklin L.L.D. Envoy from the American Congress to the French Court. From "An Impartial History of the War in America", London. Copper plate engraving, 1780. LINK.

Benjamin Franklin L.L.D. Envoy from the American Congress to the French Court. From “An Impartial History of the War in America”, London. Copper plate engraving, 1780. LINK.

Benjamin Franklin.   The Statesman and Philosopher. 152. Published by N. Currier, New York. Lithograph hand colored, 1847. No. 44 of the "Best 50" small-folio Currier and Ives lithographs. One of America's most important colonial figures, Franklin is depicted in white stock and full-trimmed coat. Around him is a decorative gilded frame surmounted with the American eagle. LINK.

Benjamin Franklin. The Statesman and Philosopher. 152. Published by N. Currier, New York. Lithograph hand colored, 1847. No. 44 of the “Best 50″ small-folio Currier and Ives lithographs. One of America’s most important colonial figures, Franklin is depicted in white stock and full-trimmed coat. Around him is a decorative gilded frame surmounted with the American eagle. LINK.

D. Benjamin Franklin, et vita inter Americanos acta, et magnis electricitatis periculis clarus. Engraved by Johann Elias Haid. Mezzotint engraving, 1778. The scarce first version of Haid's mezzotint portrait of Benjamin Franklin. Haid made two portraits of Franklin using the same title and engraved pedestal surround. The this is the first and was based on the painting by Benjamin Wilson. The later mezzotint by Haid depicts Franklin in his fir hat. LINK.

D. Benjamin Franklin, et vita inter Americanos acta, et magnis electricitatis periculis clarus. Engraved by Johann Elias Haid. Mezzotint engraving, 1778. The scarce first version of Haid’s mezzotint portrait of Benjamin Franklin. Haid made two portraits of Franklin using the same title and engraved pedestal surround. The this is the first and was based on the painting by Benjamin Wilson. The later mezzotint by Haid depicts Franklin in his fur hat. LINK.

D. Benjamin Franklin, et vita inter Americanos acta, et magnis electricitatis periculis clarus. By Charles-Nicolas  Cochin.  Engraved by Johann Elias Haid. Mezzotint engraving, 1780.  A handsome and scarce portrait engraved by Haid (1739-1809). This mezzotint is the later of two oval portraits  engraved by Haid of Franklin. LINK.

D. Benjamin Franklin, et vita inter Americanos acta, et magnis electricitatis periculis clarus. By Charles-Nicolas Cochin. Engraved by Johann Elias Haid. Mezzotint engraving, 1780. A handsome and scarce portrait engraved by Haid (1739-1809). This mezzotint is the later of two oval portraits engraved by Haid of Franklin. LINK.

Benjamin Franklin. Printed by J. Neale. Mezzotint, c. 1790. LINK.

Benjamin Franklin. Printed by J. Neale. Mezzotint, c. 1790.A handsome portrait of Franklin, shown seated among books, papers, and a globe.  LINK.

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19th Century Prints, Early 20th Century, Etching, Lithograph, Natural History, Prints

Past/Present: Herons

Today we have a new P/P post, featuring two prints of herons. The older print comes from the first octavo edition of Audubon’s The Birds of America. After the original elephant folio edition was completed, Audubon decided to produce a more affordable edition and employed a lithographer from Philadelphia, J. T. Bowen, to do the job. Bowen and his team created a smaller octavo edition, which was issued to subscribers in seven volumes and completed in 1844. Five more octavo editions were completed through 1877.

The octavo edition used the same text from Audubon and MacGillivray’s earlier Ornithological Biography, the accompanying text to the elephant folio edition, but increased the number of plates to 500. They did this by separating several of the birds that had appeared grouped together in the octavo edition.

The 20th century print is by Frank Benson. Benson was born and raised in Salem, Massachusetts. He spent a great deal of time in the salt marshes that surrounded his coastal town studying, as well as hunting, various waterfowl. He painted his first oil of shore birds at the age of twelve. At nineteen, he attended the School of Drawing and Painting of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. While attending the school he produced his first etching, “Salem Harbor.” In 1883, he traveled to Paris to study at the Academie Julie and for the next thirty years devoted his artistic talent to painting and watercolor.

In 1912, at the age of fifty, he again began to produce prints. At first, these prints were portraits, then the subject shifted to waterfowl and nature oriented subjects, totaling over 355 various prints before his death in 1951. Today, Benson is considered the founder of the school of American sporting art and his prints are some of the most desirable.

Image on Left: Great White Heron.  (Male adult, Spring plumage).  Pl. 368. By John James Audubon. Lithograph handcolored, 1840-44. From the first octavo edition of  The Birds of America.  Printed and colored by J. T. Bowen, Philadelphia.

Image on Right: Snowy Herons. By Frank W. Benson. Etching, 1917. Edition 150.

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16th Century Prints, 19th Century Maps, 19th Century Prints, American Views, Aquatint, Copperplate, Engraving, Foreign Maps, Foreign Views, Lithograph, Maps, New Additions, Two-color Lithograph, World Maps

New Additions: Maps and Views

NEW ADDITIONS bannerNEW ADDITIONSWe have a great group of new maps and views at The Old Print Gallery. Many of the maps are from J. H. Colton’s “Colton’s General Atlas.” This decorative and well engraved atlas was published in the 19th century, with attractive hand coloring. The new views added to our gallery include a special view of Richmond, VA,  engraved by W. J. Bennett from a painting by G. Cooke. It is one of the rarest and most beautiful of Bennett’s aquatints. Gloria Deak describes the print as “George Cooke’s romantic celebration of Richmond’s charms. . . His composition describes the winding path of the Kanawha Canal, embracing in its arc the waters of the James River, where closely clustered buildings rising from its banks define the human community. Grazing cows lend a pastoral touch, and elegant residents, sketched at their leisure on the wooded heights, are placed by the artist in the amphitheater like setting. . . .” The colors in this view are so striking and rich, making it a beautiful and rare piece for a print collector to add to their own collection.

Colton's China. J. H. Colton. Published by Johnson & Browning, New York. Successors to J. H. Colton and Company. Engraving handcolored, 1855-60. A decorative and well engraved map from "Colton's General Atlas." Included on this map are the insets of the island of Amoy and a map of Canton and adjacent islands. With original color.

Colton’s China. J. H. Colton. Published by Johnson & Browning, New York. Successors to J. H. Colton and Company. Engraving handcolored, 1855-60. A decorative and well engraved map from “Colton’s General Atlas.” Included on this map are the insets of the island of Amoy and a map of Canton and adjacent islands. With original color.

Western Hemisphere.  J. H. Colton. Published by J. H. Colton and Company, New York. Engraving handcolored, 1855-56.  A decorative and well engraved map from "Colton's General Atlas." With original color.

Western Hemisphere. By J. H. Colton. Published by J. H. Colton and Company, New York. Engraving handcolored, 1855-56. A decorative and well engraved map from “Colton’s General Atlas.” With original color.

Eastern Hemisphere. J. H. Colton.  Published by J. H. Colton and Company, New York. Engraving handcolored, 1855-56. A decorative and well engraved map from "Colton's General Atlas."

Eastern Hemisphere. By J. H. Colton. Published by J. H. Colton and Company, New York. Engraving handcolored, 1855-56. A decorative and well engraved map from “Colton’s General Atlas.”

Hindostan or British India.   Published by J. H. Colton and Company, New York. Engraving handcolored, 1855-56. A decorative and well engraved map from "Colton's Atlas of the World.

Hindostan or British India. Published by J. H. Colton and Company, New York. Engraving handcolored, 1855-56. A decorative and well engraved map from “Colton’s Atlas of the World.

Medford.  W. Medford Distillery and U.S. Bonded Warehouses.  Massachusetts. By O. H. Bailey. Published by O. H. Bailey & Co., Boston.  Two-color lithograph, 1880. 22 locations identified in the title key of this striking bird's eye view.

Medford. W. Medford Distillery and U.S. Bonded Warehouses. Massachusetts. By O. H. Bailey. Published by O. H. Bailey & Co., Boston. Two-color lithograph, 1880. 22 locations identified in the title key of this striking bird’s eye view.

Richmond, : from the Hill above the Waterworks. George Cooke. Published by Lewis P. Clover, 180 Fulton St. N.Y.  Aquatint engraving, c.1833. Engraved by W. J. Bennett from a painting by G. Cooke. One of the rarest and most beautiful of Bennett's aquatints. Gloria Deak describes the print as  "George Cooke's romantic celebration of Richmond's charms. . . His composition describes the winding path of the Kanawha Canal, embracing in its arc the waters of the James River, where closely clustered buildings rising from its banks define the human community. Grazing cows lend a pastoral touch, and elegant residents, sketched at their leisure on the wooded heights, are placed by the artist in the amphitheater like setting. . . ."  Shown prominently is the Virginia State Capitol building which was designed by Thomas Jefferson. To the right is the Governor's mansion. To the left is City Hall (torn down in 1870) and the State Penitentiary which was designed by Benjamin Latrobe.

Richmond, : from the Hill above the Waterworks. George Cooke. Published by Lewis P. Clover, 180 Fulton St. N.Y. Aquatint engraving, c.1833. Engraved by W. J. Bennett from a painting by G. Cooke.

Hierosolyma Urbs Sancta. Judaeae, Totiusque Orientis Longe Clarissima, Qua Amplitudine ac Magnificentia Hoc Nostro Aevo Conspicua est. (Jerusalem.)  By Braun and Hogenberg. Copper plate engraving, c. 1572. A fine early view of the ancient walled city of Jerusalem. This view appeared in Braun & Hogenberg's "Civitatus Orbis Theatrum," considered the most famous atlas of city views published in the 16th Century.

Hierosolyma Urbs Sancta. Judaeae, Totiusque Orientis Longe Clarissima, Qua Amplitudine ac Magnificentia Hoc Nostro Aevo Conspicua est. (Jerusalem.) By Braun and Hogenberg. Copper plate engraving, c. 1572. A fine early view of the ancient walled city of Jerusalem. This view appeared in Braun & Hogenberg’s “Civitatus Orbis Theatrum,” considered the most famous atlas of city views published in the 16th Century.

Colton's Map of the World on Mercator's Projection. J. H. Colton. Published by J.H. Colton, 172 William St. New York. Engraving handcolored, 1855-56. A decorative and well engraved map of the world from "Colton's General Atlas." The tracts of various explorations are shown. These include Cook, Cancouver and La Perouse.

Colton’s Map of the World on Mercator’s Projection. By J. H. Colton. Published by J.H. Colton, 172 William St. New York. Engraving handcolored, 1855-56. A decorative and well engraved map of the world from “Colton’s General Atlas.” The tracts of various explorations are shown. These include Cook, Cancouver and La Perouse.

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19th Century Prints, American Views, Lithograph, Prints, Two-color Lithograph

View of Washington City and Georgetown

View of Washington City and Georgetown. Published and sold by Casimir Bohn, Washington D.C. Two-color lithograph, 1849. Lith. by E. Weber & Co. Baltimore. This scarce view shows the city from the portico of the Capitol building. Pennsylvania Avenue is shown in the center right. In In the distance is the Washington Monument in its original design. To the right of that is the Observatory; to the left is the Smithsonian Institution.  Surrounding the image is a series of twenty vignette illustrations of prominent buildings and monuments of the time. These include two views of the Capitol, the White house, Navy Yard, Georgetown College, Aqueduct near Georgetown, Post Office etc.

View of Washington City and Georgetown. 

This scarce view shows the city of Washington from the portico of the Capitol building. Published and sold by Casimir Bohn, this two-color lithograph is dated 1849. It was lithographed by E. Weber & Co., Baltimore. Early colored lithographs used one or two colors to tint the entire stone and create a watercolor-like tone to the image. This atmospheric effect was primarily used for landscape or topographical illustrations. For more detailed coloration, artists relied on hand coloring over the use of multi-color lithography, which only became popular in the second half of the 19th century.

In the main image of this print, DC’s iconic Pennsylvania Avenue is shown in the center right. In the far distance is the Washington Monument, shown in its original design. To the right is the National Observatory; to the left is the Smithsonian Institution. Surrounding the main image is a series of twenty vignette illustrations of prominent buildings and monuments of the time. These include two views of the Capitol, the White house, Navy Yard, Georgetown College, Aqueduct near Georgetown, Post Office, and more.

This view is referenced in Reps’ “Views and Viewmakers” #666; and Deak’s “Picturing America”#577. It can now be viewed and purchased at our Georgetown gallery.

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18th Century Prints, 19th Century Prints, Engraving, Mezzotint, Past/Present, Prints

Past/Present: King George III

Today’s Past/Present post features depictions of King George III. Born June 4, 1738, George William Frederick became King of Great Britain and King of Ireland in 1760, a title he held until the union of the two countries in 1801, when he became King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.  During his reign, he saw a victory over France in the Seven Years War, defeat of Napoleon in the Battle of Waterloo, and the loss of American colonies in our war of Independence (just to name a few highlights).

Image on Left: George the Third, King of Great Britain. By Allen Ramsay. Published according to act of Parliament by Ryland & Bryer in Cornhill. Engraving, 1767.

Image on Right: King George the Third. By Thomas Gainsborough. Published by Henry Graves & Co., London. Mezzotint engraving; hand colored, 1870.

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