17th Century Prints, 18th Century Prints, 19th Century Maps, 19th Century Prints, American Maps, American Views, Americana, Gallery Updates, Maps, Portraits, Prints

Historic America video tour of The Old Print Gallery

Last week we filmed with Aaron Killian, writer, historian, and president and founder of Historic America. Aaron is dedicated to bringing the history of our country to life through interactive publishing, tours, and the creation of digital historic research material. We were thrilled to be asked to do a video with him about our collection of historic prints- and to share our unique inventory with a whole new group of followers and history enthusiasts.

In the video, we share seven prints from our inventory, touch upon the role of prints throughout history, and talk a bit about our long 40+ year history as a gallery. It was fun morning of filming- Aaron was an engaging host, and kept the whole process super easy for this video newbie, asking stimulating and smart questions and sharing interesting facts along the way.

For more information on the prints show in the video, follow the links below:
Montanus 17th century view of St. Augustine
Edward Savage portrait of the Washington Family
Original Washington Monument Plan
Inauguration of Abraham Lincoln
Currier and Ives’ lithograph of The Battle of Bull Run
Colton’s Washington DC map
DC Circus Poster

We hope you enjoy the video! Thanks again to Aaron Killian of Historic America– we encourage all of our blog readers to book a tour with Aaron you will see DC in a whole new light and learn a lot! Also, make sure to check out the Historic America blog– you can spend hours watching his videos and reading about our nation’s past (and present)- a fantastic site for history-buffs.

18th Century Prints, 19th Century Prints, Abstract, American Maps, Contemporary, Early 20th Century, Foreign Maps, Gallery Updates, Genre, Landscapes, Maps, Natural History, Naval, Old Print Gallery Showcase, OPG Showcase, Portraits, Prints, World Maps

Holiday 2014 Showcase- Read it Now!

Our new Holiday 2014 Showcase has been sent out to our mailing list, and should hit mailboxes this week. The month’s special holiday edition features a wide range of prints and maps from our collection.

Whether you are looking for a gift for a friend, loved one, or yourself, we offer marvelous examples of important historical scenes, holiday genre, early 20th century American masters, and contemporary fine art. The maps selected for this issue offer a visual “tour around the world”, beginning with three pages of double hemisphere world maps,  an extensive history and list of available state maps by 19th century map publisher Ormando W. Gray, as well as the original 1792 L’Enfant/Ellicott Plan of the City of Washington by Philadelphia-based engravers Thakara and Vallance. Those interested in historical prints will enjoy our prints of George Washington, War of 1812 battle scenes, and George Caleb Bingham’s Stump Speaking– one of the most important depictions of 19th century American politics. Get into the holiday spirit by perusing the wintry genre scenes by Currier and Ives, Thomas Nast, A. B. Frost, and more.

Prints by American masters George Bellows, Robert Riggs, Armin Landeck, Martin Lewis, and Reginald Marsh all appear on later pages of the catalog, followed by a selection of our original, hand-pulled works by DC, NY, regional, and international printmakers. These prints are an impressive and alluring display of the current eclecticism found in contemporary printmaking.

Published in both traditional and digital media formats, we are now able to share our fantastic collection in a whole new way.  We are already working on our next issue, which should arrive in February. To receive our next Showcase, just send us your mailing information, via email.

Read the 2014 Holiday Showcase:

The Old Print Gallery Showcase. Holiday Issue. Volume XXXVII, Number 4. Click to read here.

The Old Print Gallery Showcase. Holiday Issue. Volume XXXVII, Number 4.
Click to read here.

We hope you enjoy it!

19th Century Prints, Copperplate, Engraving, Past/Present, Portraits, Prints, Stipple

Past/Present: Calligraphic Memorials

past present logo copy

Today we are sharing a Past/Present post of engraved memorials to Washington. After Washington’s death in 1799, many engravers and publishers rushed to create prints of Washington’s likeness for the grieving populace. Washington “had played such a central role in the extraordinary events of a quarter century that his death was an event of great emotional consequence in America, affecting the very identity of the nation… In honoring Washington the nation was honoring its own history” (Wick, 70). The memorial prints served to remember Washington for his accomplishments, great vision, and character, and to urge the populace to emulate the traits of their lost leader. The engravers surrounded their portraits with poems, allegorical elements, and symbols of the man’s greatness as well as the rich imagery found in mourning art- the obelisk, urn, angels, and weeping figures. The prints shown in today’s post are beautifully ornate calligraphic portraits of the lost leader.

The earlier print is a calligraphic copper engraving, designed, written, and published by Benjamin O. Tyler, professor of penmanship, New York, 1817. It was engraved by Peter Maverick, a copper and steel engraver based in Newark. The print has a stipple oval portrait of Washington in center of an elegiac poem, angels, and masonic symbols of a shining sun and book held open by a square and compass. Above the portrait, two ovals encompass the words: ‘Tho’ shrin’d in dust, great WASHINGTON now lies, The Memory of his Deeds shall ever bloom; Twin’d with proud Laurels, shall the Olive rise, And wave unfading o’er his Honor’d Tomb.” and “To him ye Nations yield eternal FAME, First on th’ Heroic list enroll his Name; High on th’ ensculptur’d marble let him stand, The undaunted Hero of his native land.”  Below his portrait reads: “Gen. George Washington departed this life Decr. 14th. 1799 AE 67. And the tears of a NATION watered his grave.

The second print is calligraphic engraving by John I. Donlevy, intaglio-chromographic and electrographic engraver. Originally issued by Donlevy in 1838, this is a second state published c. 1870. Within an elaborate oval penmanship border is a stipple-engraved portrait of Washington. The portrait is based on Stuart’s Athenaeum painting, with the bust done in swirls.  The lettering is executed in the typical variety of styles with cursive flourishes, shadows, italics, and blackletter. Above the portraits is an engraved eagle, with laurel and the American flag in its beak and arrows clutched in its talons. 

Image on the Top: Eulogium Sacred to the Memory of the Illustrious George Washington, Columbia’s Great and Successful Son: Honored Be His Name. By Benjamin O. Tyler. Published by Benjamin O. Tyler, New York. Engraved by Peter Maverick. Line and stipple copper engraving, 1817 . Image size 16 1/4 x 20 1/2″  plus margins. LINK.

Image on the Bottom: Sacred to the Memory of the Illustrious Champion of Liberty, General George Washington; First President of the United States of America. By John I. Donlevy. Published by John I. Donlevy. Calligraphic and stipple engraving, 1838, (c.1870). Platemark 16 1/2 x 13 7/8″. LINK.



19th Century Prints, American Views, Americana, Citiscapes, Lithograph, Multi-stone Lithograph, Prints

The Rose of the Capital

The Rose of the Capital. Published by Casimer Bohn, Washington. Multi-stone lithograph, 1861. Circular. Sheet size, 13 1/2" (341 mm). Triangular envelope, 6 7/8 x 5 5/8”. LINK.

The Rose of the Capital. Published by Casimir Bohn, Washington. Multi-stone lithograph, 1861. Lithographed and Printed by E. Sachse & Co. Circular. Sheet size, 13 1/2″ (341 mm). Triangular envelope, 6 7/8 x 5 5/8”. LINK.

Today we are sharing a new addition to our inventory-  a wonderful ephemeral depiction of Washington, D.C.- Casimir Bohn’s The Rose of the Capital. As only the second example ever recorded, it is a remarkable survival.  The Rose consists of a single sheet, trimmed to a circle with scalloped edges and printed recto and verso with images of Washington landmarks arrayed radially around a central image of a rosebud.

Front of The Rose of the Capital.
Front of The Rose of the Capital. Outer Circle: Washington, U.S. Patent Office, U.S. General Post Office, President’s House, East Room in the President’s Mansion, National Observatory, U.S. Treasury. Inner Circle: Frontispiece, N.E. Wing of the Capitol, Equestrian Statue of General Jackson, Liberty, Top of Capitol, Columbus, Rescue, Statue of Washington, Equestrian Statue of Washington. DOUBLE CLICK ON IMAGE FOR DETAILED VIEW.

The highlight is a view as seen looking over the Capitol toward the Mall and the Potomac, on a much smaller scale but similar in conception to several other Sachse views of the city. Some of the other images include interior and exterior views of the White House, the House and Senate chambers, the Treasury building, and equestrian statues of the Presidents Washington and Jackson.

Back of The Rose of the Capital. Outer Circle: Senate chamber, Hall of Representatives, Smithsonian Institute, Military Asylum, U.S. Navy Yard, U.S. Arsenal, Lunatic Asylum, City Hall. Inner Circle: Congressional Library, Columbia Armory, Washington’s Tomb, Mount Vernon, Georgetown College, Columbia College, Arlington House, Washington Monument.

Back of The Rose of the Capital. Outer Circle: Senate Chamber, Hall of Representatives, Smithsonian Institute, Military Asylum, U.S. Navy Yard, U.S. Arsenal, Lunatic Asylum, City Hall. Inner Circle: Congressional Library, Columbia Armory, Washington’s Tomb, Mount Vernon, Georgetown College, Columbia College, Arlington House, Washington Monument. DOUBLE CLICK ON IMAGE FOR DETAILED VIEW.

The Rose folds to fit snugly in a fragile triangular envelope of buff paper, which almost miraculously survives here. 

Envelope Front.

Envelope Front.

Envelope Back.

Envelope Back.

19th Century Prints, Engraving, Lithograph, Past/Present, Portraits, Prints

Past/Present: Presidents of the United States

Today we have two prints of American presidents, one published in 1842 and one published forty-seven years later in 1889. The older print is a decorative arrangement of the first ten American presidents, from George Washington to John Tyler. The 1889 print is an impression from the black stone of an untitled, unfinished color lithograph, depicting 23 presidents, from George Washington to Benjamin Harrison.  The older print is very ornate, decorated with flags, a stately eagle, and fine, flowery script.  In contrast, 1883 print is more austere and informative. We hope you enjoy!

Image on Left: Presidents of the United States.  By Thomas Illman. Engraving, 1842.

Image on Right: [Presidents of the United States].  Published by Bufford Litho. Company.  Lithograph, c.1889.