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

New Additions: Hancock and Hopkins Portraits

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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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2014 Holiday Gift Guide

We are less than a week until Christmas, and if you are like us, you are probably still searching for one or two last-minute gifts for that special someone (or someones!). We have you covered! We have always believed that art makes the BEST gifts. It is meaningful, special, and unlike the go-to Christmas sweater, always the right size. We have prints and maps for all interests, at all price points. Stop by our gallery or visit our website www.oldprintgallery.com to browse our collection of historic, antique, decorative, and fine original art. 

Below is a Holiday Gift Guide for 2014, with ideas for everyone on your list. We hope you enjoy our selections, and if you need more ideas, give us a call or stop by our gallery and we will be happy to help you find something fantastic. Happy shopping and Happy Holidays!

For the Cook:

Summer King Apple. Plate III. E. I. Schutt. Published by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture. Chromolithograph, 1912. Image size 6 1/4 x 3 3/8" (158 x 85 mm). LINK.  Lithographed by Julius Bien Co. Lith. From the USDA Yearbook. A beautiful chromolithograph of an apple, with a cross section of the apple below.

Summer King Apple. Plate III. E. I. Schutt. Published by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture. Chromolithograph, 1912. Image size 6 1/4 x 3 3/8″ (158 x 85 mm). LINK.
Lithographed by Julius Bien Co. Lith. From the USDA Yearbook. A beautiful chromolithograph of an apple, with a cross section of the apple below.

For the Sports Fan:

Lacrosse.  "Hard Pressed." T. de Thulstrup. Published by Harper's Weekly, New York. Wood engraving, Aug 21, 1886. Image size 13 3/4 x 19 7/8" (348 x 506 mm.). LINK.  Lacrosse, today a popular team sport in North America, may have developed as early as 1100 AD among indigenous peoples on the continent. By the seventeenth century, it was well-established. It was documented by Jesuit missionary priests in the territory of present-day Canada, although the game has undergone many modifications since that time.

Lacrosse. “Hard Pressed.” T. de Thulstrup. Published by Harper’s Weekly, New York. Wood engraving, Aug 21, 1886. Image size 13 3/4 x 19 7/8″ (348 x 506 mm.). LINK.
Lacrosse, today a popular team sport in North America, may have developed as early as 1100 AD among indigenous peoples on the continent. By the seventeenth century, it was well-established. It was documented by Jesuit missionary priests in the territory of present-day Canada, although the game has undergone many modifications since that time.

For the Washingtonian:

Map of Washington, D.C.  George H. Walker. Published by the Walker Lith. & Pub. Co. Boston. Multi-stone lithograph, c.1900. Image size 21 1/2 x 26 1/4" plus margins. LINK.   A pleasant view of the city from the turn of the last century. Outlined in red are the many trolley lines that once ran in the city and suburbs. The Walker Co. was formed in 1880 by George Hiram Walker and his brother Oscar.  They were very prolific, publishing maps, atlases and bird's eye views of New England locales.  The Walkers were the last of Boston's important lithographers.  President George  Bush is a descendant of this family.

Map of Washington, D.C. George H. Walker. Published by the Walker Lith. & Pub. Co. Boston. Multi-stone lithograph, c.1900. Image size 21 1/2 x 26 1/4″ plus margins. LINK.
A pleasant view of the city from the turn of the last century. Outlined in red are the many trolley lines that once ran in the city and suburbs. The Walker Co. was formed in 1880 by George Hiram Walker and his brother Oscar. They were very prolific, publishing maps, atlases, and bird’s eye views of New England and East Coast locales. The Walkers were the last of Boston’s important lithographers. President George Bush is a descendant of this family.

For the World Traveler:

Encampment of the Travellers. By Karl Bodmer. Published by Ackermann & Co., London. Aquatint engraving, 1843-44. Image size 7 1/2 x 11" (190 x 290 mm) plus title and margins. From "Travels in the Interior of North America"  by Maximilian, Prince of Wied-Neuwied.  In 1832, the German prince, Maximilian of Wied, organized an expedition to explore the region along the Missouri River.  He was accompanied by Karl Bodmer, a young Swiss artist, who recorded in pictorial form all he observed.  Following the Lewis & Clark trail up the Missouri River, they traveled 5,000 miles during the course of a year.  Maximilian kept detailed notes on a day-by-day basis for his book, which was published six years later in German, French, and English editions and included Bodmer's aquatint engravings.  Karl Bodmer's landscapes, portraits, and splendid scenes of Indian life are regarded today as first rate picture histories of the western frontier at that time. Engraved by Outhwaite.  Printed by de Bougeard. LINK.

Encampment of the Travellers. By Karl Bodmer. Published by Ackermann & Co., London. Aquatint engraving, 1843-44. Image size 7 1/2 x 11″ (190 x 290 mm) plus title and margins. LINK.
From “Travels in the Interior of North America” by Maximilian, Prince of Wied-Neuwied. In 1832, the German prince, Maximilian of Wied, organized an expedition to explore the region along the Missouri River. He was accompanied by Karl Bodmer, a young Swiss artist, who recorded in pictorial form all he observed. Following the Lewis & Clark trail up the Missouri River, they traveled 5,000 miles during the course of a year. Maximilian kept detailed notes on a day-by-day basis for his book, which was published six years later in German, French, and English editions and included Bodmer’s aquatint engravings. Karl Bodmer’s landscapes, portraits, and splendid scenes of Indian life are regarded today as first rate picture histories of the western frontier at that time. Engraved by Outhwaite. Printed by de Bougeard.

For the History-Buff:

John Paul Jones. C. J. Notte. Published by  Carl Guttenberg, Paris. Engraving, 1780. Image size 10 11/16 x 9 1/16”, plus publication line and margins. LINK.  Title continues: "Commodore au Service des Etats-Unis de l’Amerique...". Engraved by Carl Guttenberg. John Paul Jones( 1747-1792) was an American naval officer, famous for his exploits in British waters during the American Revolution. As captain of the Bonhomme Richard, John Paul Jones fought an epic battle against Captain Pearson’s ship Serapis. It is during this battle that he uttered his famous words "I have not yet begun to fight". The engraving shows Jones on the deck of ship, dramatically emerging from smoke and musket fire. Although the engraver, Carl Guttenberg, was from Nuremberg, he lived in France and like many French at the time, was deeply connected to the American cause. The French admired Jones for his heroism and celebrated his success, making this print popular not only in America, but France as well.

John Paul Jones. C. J. Notte. Published by Carl Guttenberg, Paris. Engraving, 1780. Image size 10 11/16 x 9 1/16”, plus publication line and margins. LINK.
Title continues: “Commodore au Service des Etats-Unis de l’Amerique…”. Engraved by Carl Guttenberg. John Paul Jones (1747-1792) was an American naval officer, famous for his exploits in British waters during the American Revolution. As captain of the Bonhomme Richard, John Paul Jones fought an epic battle against Captain Pearson’s ship Serapis. It is during this battle that he uttered his famous words “I have not yet begun to fight”. The engraving shows Jones on the deck of ship, dramatically emerging from smoke and musket fire. Although the engraver, Carl Guttenberg, was from Nuremberg, he lived in France and like many French at the time, was deeply connected to the American cause. The French admired Jones for his heroism and celebrated his success, making this print popular not only in America, but in France as well.

For the Nature-Lover:

a. Cardamomum munis Cardamoe. b. Cardamonum longum vel medium. N. 306. (Cardamom). Johann W. Weinmann. Published Amsterdam and Ratisbon. Copper engraving printed in color and finished by hand, 1736-45. Average platemark 12 3/4 x 8 inches. LINK. From Johann Wilhelm Weinmann's Phytanthoza Iconographia. This beautiful work provides a nearly complete record of the flowers, fruits and vegetables cultivated in the early 18th century. The plates are among the earliest examples of color printing from a single plate.

a. Cardamomum munis Cardamoe. b. Cardamonum longum vel medium. N. 306. (Cardamom). Johann W. Weinmann. Published Amsterdam and Ratisbon. Copper engraving printed in color and finished by hand, 1736-45. Average platemark 12 3/4 x 8 inches. LINK.
From Johann Wilhelm Weinmann’s “Phytanthoza Iconographia.” This beautiful work provides a nearly complete record of the flowers, fruits and vegetables cultivated in the early 18th century. The plates are among the earliest examples of color printing from a single plate.

For the Map Enthusiast:

A Map of the Most Inhabited part of Virginia containing the whole Province of Maryland with Part of Pensilvania, New Jersey and North Carolina. Drawn by Joshua Fry & Peter Jefferson in 1775. Printed for Robt. Sayer at No. 53 in Fleet Street. Copper plate engraving, c.1777. Four-sheet map, joined into two sheets. Overall, if joined, 31 x 48 1/4. LINK.   This important map of Virginia was commissioned by the English Lords of Trade, who in 1750 required each colony to conduct a comprehensive survey. Joshua Fry, a mathematician, and Peter Jefferson, a surveyor and father of Thomas Jefferson, were appointed to execute the commission. The resulting map is highly detailed, giving roads, ferry crossings, settlements and names of many of the rivers and creeks. It is also the first map to depict the general configuration of the Appalachian and Allegheny mountain ranges. The cartouche depicts an image of the Virginia tobacco trade. The map was first issued in 1751. Other editions were done in 1755 onward through 1794. This particular map is from the 1775 edition and likely appeared in Thomas Jefferys' "The American Atlas."

A Map of the Most Inhabited part of Virginia containing the whole Province of Maryland with Part of Pensilvania, New Jersey and North Carolina. Drawn by Joshua Fry & Peter Jefferson in 1775. Printed for Robt. Sayer at No. 53 in Fleet Street. Copper plate engraving, c.1777. Four-sheet map, joined into two sheets. Overall, if joined, 31 x 48 1/4. LINK.
This important map of Virginia was commissioned by the English Lords of Trade, who in 1750 required each colony to conduct a comprehensive survey. Joshua Fry, a mathematician, and Peter Jefferson, a surveyor and father of Thomas Jefferson, were appointed to execute the commission. The resulting map is highly detailed, giving roads, ferry crossings, settlements and names of many of the rivers and creeks. It is also the first map to depict the general configuration of the Appalachian and Allegheny mountain ranges. The cartouche depicts an image of the Virginia tobacco trade. The map was first issued in 1751. Other editions were done in 1755 onward through 1794. This particular map is from the 1775 edition and likely appeared in Thomas Jefferys’ “The American Atlas.”

For the Kids:

Coastal Whimsey. By Joan Drew.  Serigraph, 1965. Image size 8 1/8 x 12 1/2 inches. LINK.  Edition of 55. Signed, titled, and dated in pencil. A fanciful image of a boat, castle, and friendly creatures. printed in beautiful colors.

Coastal Whimsey. By Joan Drew. Serigraph, 1965. Image size 8 1/8 x 12 1/2 inches. LINK.
Edition of 55. Signed, titled, and dated in pencil. A fanciful image of a boat, castle, and friendly creatures. Printed in three beautiful colors.

For the City-Slicker:

Gotham Lights. Michael Di Cerbo. Etching, aquatint, and drypoint, 2005. Image size 11 7/8 x 8 13/16 inches. LINK.  Edition 50. Signed, titled, and dated in pencil by artist. Micahel DiCerbo is a NEw York City based artist. Di Cerbo has turned his sense of urban grandeur into geometric forms with patterns of light and dark that allude to the soaring architecture of skyscrapers. One sees the city from the perspective of both an ant and eagle, moving endlessly upward or falling away to infinite chasms below. The images, though devoid of people and any overt sign of life, create an ambiance of mystery. One may find themselves alone in a composition as an observer of a timeless cityscape.

Gotham Lights. Michael Di Cerbo. Etching, aquatint, and drypoint, 2005. Image size 11 7/8 x 8 13/16 inches. LINK.
Edition 50. Signed, titled, and dated in pencil by artist. Micahel DiCerbo is a NEw York City based artist. Di Cerbo has turned his sense of urban grandeur into geometric forms with patterns of light and dark that allude to the soaring architecture of skyscrapers. One sees the city from the perspective of both an ant and eagle, moving endlessly upward or falling away to infinite chasms below. The images, though devoid of people and any overt sign of life, create an ambiance of mystery. One may find themselves alone in a composition as an observer of a timeless citiscape.

For the Contemporary:

Dreamscape #2. Philip Bennet. Watercolor monotype, 2010. Image size 13 3/4 x 9 7/8 inches. LINK. Signed and titled in pencil by the artist. Ed 1/1. Bennet’s medium of choice is the monotype, abstract and dynamic images achieved as a result of his playful and liberal approach to printmaking. He experiments with colored inks of varied viscosity, often employing hued “ghost” images as backgrounds for new prints and integrating multiple plates into each composition. His unrestricted and unique working style allows for a spontaneity and creative freedom not normally associated with printmaking.

Dreamscape #2. Philip Bennet. Watercolor monotype, 2010. Image size 13 3/4 x 9 7/8 inches. LINK.
Signed and titled in pencil by the artist. Ed 1/1. Bennet’s medium of choice is the monotype, abstract and dynamic images achieved as a result of his playful and liberal approach to printmaking. He experiments with colored inks of varied viscosity, often employing hued “ghost” images as backgrounds for new prints and integrating multiple plates into each composition. His unrestricted and unique working style allows for a spontaneity and creative freedom not normally associated with printmaking.

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19th Century Maps, 19th Century Prints, Aquatint, Engraving, Etching, Gallery Openings, Maps, Naval, Prints

War of 1812 Exhibit at The Old Print Shop

A VIEW of the BOMBARDMENT of Fort McHenry… By John Bower. Aquatint and engraving, c.1819, re-engraving c.1905.

Our partners in New York, The Old Print Shop, have teamed up with  Michael Buehler of Boston Rare Maps to launch a joint exhibit of prints and maps relating to the Second War of Independence:  the War of 1812. The exhibit opened on September 29, but it is still on view at the Old Print Shop until November 9th. We urge our followers to visit the shop in NY and see the fascinating collection of battle scenes, military maps and political cartoons and prints issued during wartime.

The Old Print Shop and Boston Rare Maps also collaborated on a special joint issue of The Portfolio, cataloging the prints in the exhibit  with fascinating detail and historical context. You can view the online version of the Portfolio here:

http://www.bostonraremaps.com/general/war-of-1812.html

Battle of New Orleans : and Death of Major General Packenham : on the 8th of January 1815. Drawn by [William Edward] West. Engraved, published and sold by J. Yeager. Aquatint, etching, and line engraving, 1816.

To the Right Honorable Charles Philip Yorke, First Lord of the Admiralty, : This Print elucidating the extreme disproportion of Force between the American Frigate President Commodore Rogers, and His Majesty’s Sloop… Published by J. Hassell and J. Cartwright, London. Aquatint and engraving, 1811.

British Barbarity and Piracy ! !. . . The “LEOPARD OUTSPOTTED” or Chesapeak [sic] Outrage outdone. Publisher unknown possibly Abijah Adams and Ebenezer Rhoades. Boston, March, 25, 1808. Folio broadside, 1808.

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19th Century Prints, Lithograph, Naval, Prints

Hampton Roads Naval Scene by Charles Parsons

"The First Naval Conflict Between Iron Clad Vessels. In Hampton Roads, March 9th 1862." Three-stone lithograph by Charles Parsons. Published in 1862 by Endicott & Co.

 This week’s blog post features the large naval print of the Battle of Hampton Roads, often referred to as the Battle of the Monitor and Merrimack. This print, entitled The First Naval Conflict Between Iron Clad Vessels. In Hampton Roads, March 9th, 1862., is a three stone lithograph of one of the most important naval battles of the Civil War.

The Battle of Hampton Roads was fought over two days, from March 8 to March 9, in 1862, in Hampton Roads. Hampton Roads is a roadstead in Virginia where the Elizabeth River and the Nansemond Rivers meet the James River, just as it enters the Chesapeake Bay. It was at this location that the Union forces had established a blockade. As a result, two of Virginia’s most populous cities- Norfolk and Richmond, both under control of the Confederacy, were cut off from all international trade. In effort to end this blockade, a naval push from the Confederacy set out to destroy the fleet of Union ships. While the battle ended in a somewhat anticlimactic fashion, the significance awarded this battle is immense, as it was the first meeting of two ironclad warships.

The Confederate fleet consisted of an ironclad ram, the CSS Virginia (formerly the USS Merrimack), as well as a supporting fleet of wooden ships. The first day of battle situated the CSS Virginia against a fleet of the Union Navy’s conventional, wooden-hulled ships. Throughout the day, the CSS Virginia was successful in destroying two of the Union ships. The third Union ship, the USS Minnesota, had already been run aground, and had collected many injuries. Poised to finish the attack on the Minnesota, the Virginia was deterred by nightfall, falling tide, and an injured captain, Flag Officer Franklin Buchanan.  On March 9, the Virginia returned to the fray with the mission to destroy the Minnesota. Unbeknownst to the Confederacy, the Union had sent the ironclad USS Monitor overnight to the blockaded area, in efforts to protect the Minnesota. When the Virginia approached in the morning, the Monitor intercepted her. For three hours, the two ironclads fought with little results. Unable to inflict significant damage to one another, the duel ended indecisively, with each ship sent back to its prospective ports and the blockade held firmly in place.

As a result of this battle, the two preeminent naval powers, Great Britain and France, halted further construction of their wooden-hulled ships, switching all production to iron-clad vessels. A new warship took precedence, based off the design of the USS Monitor. Shipbuilders started to incorporate rams into the design of the warship hulls and added a small number of very heavy guns onto the ship, mounted so they could fire in all directions.

This beautiful stone lithograph pays tribute to the battle, emphasizing the importance of a new naval technology. Along the border are eight vignettes, featuring scenes of the Monitor’s interior. Along the top border, an eagle with wings spread to reveal flowing American flags and beak grasping the symbolic ring of laurels, perches on a mound emblazed with the name “Ericson”.  Responsible for the invention of the caloric engine used in the iron ships, Ericson is honored with a celebratory portrait to the left of the eagle and a depiction of his great invention to the right.

The main image features the Monitor and Merrimac on the water, with smoke and steam billowing from their tops. In the background are old wooden ships, a visual distinction that alludes to the old and new way of ship building. In the foreground, the open waters of Hampton Roads are choppy, the water’s flow disrupted by piercing stray bullets. A handsome, light-handed wash of muted yellows, grays, and blues applied to the water and sky acts as a stunning contrast to the dark iron of the two vessels, furthermore signifying their importance and supremacy.

Published in 1862 by Endicott & Co., a New-York based firm, the print was done by Charles Parsons to illustrate this very news-worth event. An American artist accomplished in both watercolor and lithography, Parsons apprenticed at the age of 15 in the lithographic studio of George Endicott, where he showed great skill and poise under the pressure of  the studio’s fast-paced production. Parsons is now widely recognized for his naval scenes, as well as his long career working for both Currier and Ives and for Harper’s Weekly. Serving as creative director for Harper’s, Parson’s talent and focus influenced artists like Winslow Homer, Edwin Abbey, and Fredrick Remington, to name a few.

To view or purchase this print online, click here. To view more of Parson’s prints from our inventory, click here.

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