19th Century Prints, Americana, Engraving, Portraits, Prints, Stipple

Rare Jefferson Portrait Added to Inventory

Thomas Jefferson, Esq. President of the United States. After a painting by Rembrandt Peale. Engraved by Enoch G. Gridley, State St. Boston.  Undated, circa 1801. Stipple engraving. Image size 11 1/4 x 9 inches (28.5 x 22.9 cm) plus margins. LINK.

Thomas Jefferson, Esq. President of the United States. After a painting by Rembrandt Peale. Engraved by Enoch G. Gridley, State St. Boston.  Undated, circa 1801. Stipple engraving. Image size 11 1/4 x 9 inches (28.5 x 22.9 cm) plus margins. LINK.

We recently added to the OPG inventory a rare, early American engraving of a key figure in our nation’s history, Thomas Jefferson. Thomas Jefferson (1743- 1826) was the Vice President under Madison and the third president of the U.S. ( from 1801–1809). Jefferson was one of the founding fathers of the Revolution. He was also the chief architect of the Declaration of Independence.

This particular print is extremely rare with only a few examples known.  The print is based on Rembrandt Peale’s portrait painted in 1800. It is a very close copy of a portrait that was engraved by David Edwin and published by John Savage in 1800 (while Jefferson was Vice President) and again in 1803 (while Jefferson was President) . Little is known about the engraver of this portrait, Enoch G. Gridley. Most references list him working in New York, then on to Philadelphia. This is the only known engraving by him that notes Boston as a location. This is also one of the larger plates that he produced. Most of the works that he produced were small, book plate sized.

REF: Stauffer – Fielding, American Engravers, supplement #531.

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18th Century Prints, Americana, Mezzotint, Naval, New Additions, Portraits, Prints

New Additions: Hancock and Hopkins Portraits

NEW ADDITIONS banner

NEW ADDITIONSToday we are sharing two portraits, recently added to our collection. Published only a year apart, these mezzotint engravings of John Hancock and Commodore Esek Hopkins depict key figures in the Revolutionary War. Information for each print is listed below. For more portraits or Revolutionary War prints and maps, visit our website or stop by our Georgetown gallery. We hope you enjoy these striking pieces of Americana.

The Hon.ble John Hancock. of Boston in New-England; President of the American Congress. By Littleford. London, Published as the Act directs 25 Octo.r 1775 by C. Shepherd. Mezzotint engraving, 1775. Image size 12 1/2 x 9 7/8" (318 x 251 mm). Overall is good condition, lower "C. Shepherd." publication line trimmed off. LINK.

The Hon.ble John Hancock. of Boston in New-England; President of the American Congress. By Littleford. London, Published as the Act directs 25 Octo.r 1775 by C. Shepherd. Mezzotint engraving, 1775. Image size 12 1/2 x 9 7/8″ (318 x 251 mm). Overall is good condition, lower “C. Shepherd.” publication line trimmed off. LINK.

John Hancock became involved in the Revolution as a result of his disagreements with English custom officials regarding his mercantile business in Boston. At the time of the Stamp Act and the Boston Massacre, he was an outspoken leader among patriots and held elected offices in both the Massachusetts Provincial Congress and the Continental Congress. His militant beliefs, as well as his position as president of the Continental Congress, made him newsworthy in both England and the colonies.

Numerous portraits were published on both sides of the ocean depicting this important Revolutionary figure. In his anxiety to distribute the first print depicting Hancock, the London print-seller Charles Shepherd issued a porthole portrait (the above print) of the great patriot after a painting by Littleford. The image bears a passable resemblance to Copley’s portrait of Hancock, but it is unlikely that Shepherd ever saw the painting in person, therefore it is more reasonable to assume that it was based on a verbal description. Shepherd published another portrait of Hancock on the same day, which depicts him as a double-chinned gentleman holding a letter. This portraits bears even less resemblance to Copley’s portrait, therefore it is safe to conclude that Shepherd published both works without ever seeing a likeness of Hancock. This early print is one of the most important portraits of Hancock, and one of the rarest pieces of early Americana.

Commodore Hopkins, : Commander in Chief of the American Fleet. Publish'd as the Act directs 22, Augt. 1776, by Thos. Hart, London. Mezzotint, 1776. Image size 12 9/16 x 9 1/8" (319 x 232 mm). German edition. Good condition. 1/4 to 3/4" margins, which is unusual for mezzotints of this period. LINK.

Commodore Hopkins, : Commander in Chief of the American Fleet. Publish’d as the Act directs 22, Augt. 1776, by Thos. Hart, London. Mezzotint, 1776. Image size 12 9/16 x 9 1/8″ (319 x 232 mm). German edition. Good condition. 1/4 to 3/4″ margins, which is unusual for mezzotints of this period. LINK.

An attractive portrait of Commodore Hopkins, with two Continental ships shown in the background. The first Navy Jack, a flag with a rattlesnake on it bearing the motto “Don’t Tread on Me” (or in the case of this print, “Don’t tread upon me”), is shown at left and may have flown aboard the Alfred, flagship of the newly commissioned Continental fleet. At right flies the Pine Tree Flag, here titled “Liberty Tree An Appeal to God”.

Esek Hopkins was born in Rhode Island on April 26, 1718. As a young man he began a career at sea, captaining merchant vessels and, during the French and Indian War, acting as a successful privateer. After the American Revolution broke out in 1775, Rhode Island appointed Hopkins as commander of its military forces. Later that year he became Commander in Chief of the very small Continental Navy. In mid-February 1776, Commodore Hopkins sailed from Philadelphia under orders from the Continental Congress to attack British maritime forces in Virginia. Facing a British fleet much larger in numbers and better outfitted, Hopkins instead elected to continue sailing south to Nassau and protect his fledgling Navy of just eight merchant ships. On March 3rd, he seized Fort Montagu and then advanced to the poorly-defended town, executing the first amphibious warfare operation. His fleet seized all gunpowder and munitions- supplies desperately needed by the Continental Army. On April 4, 1776, while returning home, his Continental ships encountered and captured two small British warships, but then failed to capture the HMS Glasgow two days later. Hopkins’ conduct of his operations produced considerable controversy and he was dismissed by Congress in 1778. He served in the Rhode Island legislature until his death in 1802.

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19th Century Prints, Americana, Engraving, Lithograph, Prints, Wood

First Battle of Bull Run

154 Years Ago Today…..

The First Battle of Bull Run was fought on July 21, 1861, near the city of Manassas, Virginia not far from Washington, D.C. It was the first major battle of the American Civil War. The Union forces, led by McDowell, were slow in positioning themselves, allowing Confederate reinforcements time to arrive by rail. Each side had about 18,000 poorly trained and poorly led troops in their first battle. It was a Confederate victory which ended with a disorganized and hasty retreat of the Union forces. Below are several prints we have of the widely documented (and illustrated) first battle.

The Battle of Bull Run, 2 P.M. July 21, 1861.  Alfred Waud. Published by Harper's Weekly, August 10, 1861. Wood engraving, 1861. Image size 13 3/4 x 20 1/4" (35 x 51.4 cm). LINK.

The Battle of Bull Run, 2 P.M. July 21, 1861. Alfred Waud. Published by Harper’s Weekly, August 10, 1861. Wood engraving, 1861. Image size 13 3/4 x 20 1/4″ (35 x 51.4 cm). LINK.

Col. Michael Corcoran, at the Battle of Bull Run, Va. - July 21st 1861. : The desperate and bloody charge of the "Gallant Sixty-Ninth," on the Rebel Batteries.  Published by Currier & Ives, 152 Nassau St. New York. Lithograph, undated. Small folio - image size 8 x 12 1/4 inches. LINK.

Col. Michael Corcoran, at the Battle of Bull Run, Va. – July 21st 1861. : The desperate and bloody charge of the “Gallant Sixty-Ninth,” on the Rebel Batteries. Published by Currier & Ives, 152 Nassau St. New York. Lithograph, undated. Small folio – image size 8 x 12 1/4 inches. LINK.

The Great Battle at Bull Run, VA., on Sunday Afternoon, July 21, Retreat of the Federal Army upon Centreville – Col. Miles’s Reserve Division Covering the Retreat and Repelling the Charge of the Rebel Cavalry – Panic Among the Teamsters and Civilians, and General Stampede Towards Arlington Heights. Published by  Frank Leslie, New York. Wood engraving, c. 1862.  From "Pictorial History of the War of 1861." Image size 19 7/8 x 29 1/4". LINK.

The Great Battle at Bull Run, VA., on Sunday Afternoon, July 21, Retreat of the Federal Army upon Centreville – Col. Miles’s Reserve Division Covering the Retreat and Repelling the Charge of the Rebel Cavalry – Panic Among the Teamsters and Civilians, and General Stampede Towards Arlington Heights. Published by Frank Leslie, New York. Wood engraving, c. 1862. From “Pictorial History of the War of 1861.” Image size 19 7/8 x 29 1/4″. LINK.

 

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19th Century Prints, Americana, Engraving, Gallery Updates, Mixed-Media, Prints

The 4th of July

The Old Print Gallery will be closed tomorrow, July 4th, for Independence Day. Have a safe and happy holiday celebrating with friends and family!

The Declaration of Independence of the United States of America. : July 4th 1776.  Mixed-media engraving, hand colored, 1858. Published by Goupil & Cie., Paris. Engraved by Alexander Jazet, with the additional imprint of M. Knoedler & Co., New York. Jazet's engraving is a particularly skilled and handsome print adaptation of Trumbull's famous painting. Image size 13 3/4 x 23 3/8. LINK.

The Declaration of Independence of the United States of America. : July 4th 1776. Mixed-media engraving, hand colored, 1858. Published by Goupil & Cie., Paris. Engraved by Alexander Jazet, with the additional imprint of M. Knoedler & Co., New York. Jazet’s engraving is a particularly skilled and handsome print adaptation of Trumbull’s famous painting. Image size 13 3/4 x 23 3/8. LINK.

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18th Century Maps, 18th Century Prints, 19th Century Maps, 19th Century Prints, American Maps, Americana, Aquatint, Contemporary, Early 20th Century, Gallery Opening Receptions, Gallery Updates, Maps, OPG Showcase, Portraits, Prints

Upcoming at The Old Print Gallery

87117Our Winter Contemporary Show is up on the gallery walls for only 2 more days. Works by thirteen contemporary printmakers, all created within the last two years, were chosen for the show. The prints selected are an impressive, alluring display of the current eclecticism found in contemporary printmaking. The show includes work by three local DC artists-Jake Muirhead, Susan Goldman, and Philip Bennet- as well as many regional and international printmakers. Stop by to see these prints before the walls change.

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Tonal Array: Aquatints from the 20th and 21st Century opens next Friday, February 20th, with an opening reception from 5-7 pm at the gallery.  Tonal Array draws attention to the talented printmakers of the 20th and 21st century who experimented and pushed the boundaries of aquatint’s potential. Varying between flat color planes and incredible plate texture, these artists demonstrate a fluid and experimental handling of the medium. The resulting images have an expressive strength and visual intensity that relay the ingenuity to be found in the world of original printmaking. The show will remain on view until April 11th, 2015.

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Our February 2015 Showcase will hit mailboxes next week. This edition draws heavily on a collection of historic American prints and portraits, as well as important Revolutionary War maps. Several pieces selected for the catalog  are exceptionally rare works of Americana and rarely show up on the market or at auction.

 

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