19th Century Prints, Fashion, Lithograph, Portraits, Prints

Currier and Ives “Girl’s Name” Portraits

Today on the OPG blog we are sharing several of our Currier and Ives prints- the “girl’s name” portraits. Produced in large quantities for public sale, these prints were strictly a commercial venture for the firm. In addition to the 600 portraits of historical figures, presidents, sporting heroes, and drama stars, Currier and Ives published 250 “girl’s name” prints, close to 30 percent of their total portrait output. These name prints were idealized portraits of women and children, titled with popular Christian names of the day. To capitalize on their popularity, the firm would sometimes publish multiple prints under the same name or title- there are thirteen “Mary” prints, five “Josephine” prints, seven “Susan” prints. The lithographs all have slightly different compositions, picturing the girl in a new and elaborate outfit, sitting or standing, facing left or facing right, yellow roses in hair or red roses in hair. Several prints do not have a name at all; rather they are titled with sweet sobriquets like “The American Beauty”, “The Southern Beauty”, “My Sweetheart”, “Pride of the West”, and so on. Today, these sentimental prints are collected for their charming beauty, elaborate costumes, and delightful compositional elements. We hope enjoy them!

Maria. : 48. N. Currier. Lithograph, undated. Image size 12 1/4 x 8 3/4 inches. Shown seated in white dress with red cloak, hand strumming a lute. LINK.

Maria. : 48. Nathaniel Currier. Lithograph, undated. Image size 12 1/4 x 8 3/4 inches. Shown seated in white dress with red cloak, hand strumming a lute. LINK.

Josephine. Currier and Ives. Lithograph, undated.  Vignette 12 3/4 x 8 3/4 inches. Shown in white lace dress with pink trim, wearing a gold double-strand necklace, with dark hair swept up in a jeweled headband.

Josephine. Currier and Ives. Lithograph, undated. Vignette 12 3/4 x 8 3/4 inches. Shown in white lace dress with pink trim, wearing a gold double-strand necklace, with dark hair swept up in a jeweled headband. LINK.

Catherine.  Nathaniel Currier. Lithograph, 1845. Image size 11 5/8 x 8 1/16 inches. A full length portrait, with Catherine shown seated in a red dress, bouquet in hand and roses in a large vase on table. LINK.

Catherine. Nathaniel Currier. Lithograph, 1845. Image size 11 5/8 x 8 1/16 inches. A full length portrait, with Catherine shown seated in a red dress, bouquet in hand and roses in a large vase on table. LINK.

The Pride of the West. Currier and Ives. Lithograph, 1870. Image size 12 x 8 inches. Portrait of woman with  a red gown and roses woven throughout her hair. LINK.

The Pride of the West. Currier and Ives. Lithograph, 1870. Image size 12 x 8 inches. Portrait of woman with a red gown and roses woven throughout her hair. LINK.

The Eastern Beauty. Currier and Ives. Lithograph, undated. Vignette 11 7/8 x 7 5/8 inches. A carefully drawn woman, adorned with a red bow at her neck. LINK.

The Eastern Beauty. Currier and Ives. Lithograph, undated. Vignette 11 7/8 x 7 5/8 inches. A carefully drawn woman, adorned with a red bow at her neck. LINK.

Julia. Currier and Ives. Lithograph,  undated. Vignette 12 3/8 x 9 inches. This portrait shows a more mature woman in a blue dress adorned with pink roses. LINK.

Julia. Currier and Ives. Lithograph, undated. Vignette 12 3/8 x 9 inches. This portrait shows a more mature woman in a blue dress adorned with pink roses. LINK.

Susie. Currier and Ives. Lithograph, undated. Vignette 12 3/4 x 8 7/8 inches. A coquette with long, dark curls tied by a pink hair-bow gives a sidelong glance. LINK.

Susie. Currier and Ives. Lithograph, undated. Vignette 12 3/4 x 8 7/8 inches. A coquette with long, dark curls tied by a pink hair-bow gives a sidelong glance. LINK.

Henrietta. Nathaniel Currier. Lithograph, undated. Image size 12 1/8 x 8 1/2 inches. Yellow roses adorn an eyelet ruffled dress. LINK.

Henrietta. Nathaniel Currier. Lithograph, undated. Image size 12 1/8 x 8 1/2 inches. Yellow roses adorn an eyelet ruffled dress. LINK.

Josephine. Nathaniel Currier. Lithograph, undated. Image size 11 5/8 x 8 1/2 inches. A formal setting with gown of rose and white. LINK.

Josephine. Nathaniel Currier. Lithograph, undated. Image size 11 5/8 x 8 1/2 inches. A formal setting with gown of rose and white. LINK.

Mary. N. Currier. Lithograph, 1845. Image size 12 x 8 5/8". Shown in full-length lace-trimmed dress, with a picture of the S.S. Swallow on the wall behind her. LINK.

Mary. Nathaniel Currier. Lithograph, 1845. Image size 12 x 8 5/8″. Shown in full-length lace-trimmed dress, with a picture of the S.S. Swallow on the wall behind her. LINK.

Spring. Currier and Ives. Lithograph, 1870. Vignette 12 1/2 x 9 1/4 inches.  Multicolored flowers in her hair and bouquet accent a blue dress and bow. LINK.

Spring. Currier and Ives. Lithograph, 1870. Vignette 12 1/2 x 9 1/4 inches. Multicolored flowers in her hair and bouquet accent a blue dress and bow. LINK.

 

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19th Century Prints, American Views, Americana, Botanical, Color Lithograph, Genre, Landscapes, Lithograph, Natural History, Naval, New Additions, Prints, Sporting, Two-color Lithograph

New Additions: Currier & Ives

NEW ADDITIONS bannerNEW ADDITIONSWe added several new Currier & Ives lithographs to our gallery, including many beautiful genre and landscape scenes which capture 19th century American life.

Currier & Ives was the largest publisher of hand printed lithographs. The firm published well over 7,500 different images over the seventy-three years it was in business. They specialized in lithographs hand-drawn on a lithographic stone and printed one at a time by hand, which is the original and traditional method of lithography.  Although steam presses existed, Currier & Ives felt that the impressions were inferior to the hand-pulled lithographic impressions. Over the years the firm worked with many artists and craftsmen. The founder, Nathaniel Currier, a trained lithographer, and his partner, James Merritt Ives, a bookkeeper and self-taught artist, proved to be the correct combination of an entrepreneur, craftsman, and artist to make the company the best during their time.

Many artists worked for the firm. Of the new additions, many were done by Frances Flora Palmer.  Known to many as Fanny F. Palmer, she was one of the best known artists to work for Currier & Ives. She was responsible for the majority of landscape images produced by the firm, even though only a few bear her name.

We hope you enjoy these new colorful and beautiful lithographs! To see more prints by Currier and Ives, we invite you to visit our website.

The Old Homestead. By Fanny F. Palmer. Published by Currier & Ives. Lithograph handcolored, undated. Medium folio. LINK.

The Old Homestead. By Fanny F. Palmer. Published by Currier & Ives. Lithograph handcolored, undated. Medium folio. LINK.

The Village Blacksmith. By Fanny F. Palmer. Pub. by N. Currier. Lithograph handcolored, undated. Medium folio. LINK.

The Village Blacksmith. By Fanny F. Palmer. Pub. by N. Currier. Lithograph handcolored, undated. Medium folio. LINK.

Landscape, Fruit and Flowers. By Fanny F. Palmer. Published by Currier & Ives. Two-color lithograph handcolored, 1862. Large folio. LINK.

Landscape, Fruit and Flowers. By Fanny F. Palmer. Published by Currier & Ives. Two-color lithograph handcolored, 1862. Large folio. LINK.

Winter Pastime. By Fanny F. Palmer. Published by N. Currier. Lithograph handcolored, 1855. Medium folio. LINK.

Winter Pastime. By Fanny F. Palmer. Published by N. Currier. Lithograph handcolored, 1855. Medium folio. LINK.

On a Point. By Fanny F. Palmer. Published by N. Currier. Lithograph handcolored, 1855. Medium folio. LINK.

On a Point. By Fanny F. Palmer. Published by N. Currier. Lithograph handcolored, 1855. Medium folio. LINK.

"Thistle" : Cutter Yacht, Designed by G. L. Watson : Built by D. W. Henderson & Co. Glasgow.  Owned by Mr. Bell, Glasgow Scotland. Published by Currier & Ives, N.Y. Lithograph printed in oil color, 1887. Large folio. LINK.

“Thistle” : Cutter Yacht, Designed by G. L. Watson : Built by D. W. Henderson & Co. Glasgow. Owned by Mr. Bell, Glasgow Scotland. Published by Currier & Ives, N.Y. Lithograph printed in oil color, 1887. Large folio. LINK.

Niagara Falls. Published by Currier & Ives, 152 Nassau St. Lithograph with handcoloring, undated.  Medium folio size. LINK.

Niagara Falls. Published by Currier & Ives, 152 Nassau St. Lithograph with hand-coloring, undated. Medium folio size. LINK.

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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, Genre, Lithograph, New Additions, Prints

New Additions: Currier & Ives

NEW ADDITIONS bannerNEW ADDITIONSWe recently added several Currier & Ives lithographs to our website. Among the lithographic companies, the printmaking firm of Currier & Ives produced some of the most iconic and popular American art of the 19th century. The company, headed by Nathaniel Currier (1813-1888) and James Merritt Ives (1824-1895), specialized in publishing hand colored lithographic prints that were sold inexpensively to the growing American middle class.

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During its early years, the firm was primarily known for its commercial work- printing advertising, letterheads, music sheets, or other work that it was paid to produce. Nathaniel Currier was  interested in being more than a commercial printing shop and was continuously looking for opportunities to sell images to the public. His first foray into selling directly to the public was creating images for newsworthy events. Almost all the newspapers before the late 1850’s were not illustrated. The enterprising Currier hired artists to created images for the sensational news stories of the time.

ci_eastern_beauty_1407We do not know exactly when the firm started publishing images for sale to the public, but it is likely that it was fairly early on and probably met with limited success. His first copyrighted image was in 1838.  (Commercial images do not need a copyright; however, images for sale to the public did need image protection, to prevent competitors from taking the image and publishing it themselves). It is also known that by the late 1840’s, the firm was aggressively marketing images to the public for sale as individual prints. By the 1850’s, the company’s influence and success created serious growth in the industry of lithography. Many large folio images were issued and the number of copyrights expanded considerably.

ci_brush_on_road_1404Prices for small folio hand colored lithographs were 20 cents each. The large folios ranged from $3 to $5 each. They were not limited edition publishers, so it is unknown how many impressions were produced of each print. In general, the firm did not make an image unless it felt that it could sell 100 impressions. Over time, their subject matter expanded to included genre scenes, town views, and many portraits. Sporting scenes, especially horse racing and fishing, also found their way onto the lithographic stones, and were very popular.

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The firm of Currier & Ives closed permanently in 1907. During the last fifteen years the firm was not very productive, as tastes had changed and photography, which was invented in 1840, became easily printable by the turn of the century. America lost most of its lithographic houses between the years 1870 and 1910. Cheaper, faster commercial presses were replacing the age old hand-run lithographic presses. The  new presses did not produce images of the same quality as hand printed lithographs, but the savings were more important than quality in commercial work.19868_4714_battle_of_the_wilderness_va_c&i

42617Over the years, there has been a flurry of renewed interest in Currier & Ives lithographs. Many collectors recognize the importance of these images- as the offer a rare pictorial record of the life and activities of the mid 19th century. Capturing scenes of historical significance, including the civil war, as well as offering prints of true artistic merit, the Currier & Ives lithographs have an almost irresistible charm and appeal.

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