Selections From a Noteworthy Collection of American Historical Prints
Our April 15, 2021 auction of Printed & Manuscript Americana opens with a noteworthy collection of historical prints which spins a narrative of America stretching from the arrival of Columbus to the start of the Civil War. This collection was compiled over the past three decades by a Virginia gentleman, buying mostly from the leading dealers and auction houses in the field.
Here you can find famed rarities such as the 1776 London engraving of the Romans view of Bunker Hill (lot 22, only one seen at auction since 1973); and unknown gems such as the Battle of Buena Vista lithographed by Frances Palmer (lot 106, none traced in OCLC).
Also available are beautiful copies of old favorites including the southeast and southwest views of Manhattan from the 1768 Scenographia Americana series (lots 6 and 7); and at least one previously unknown item, a circa 1832 printing of the Constitution featuring a portrait of Washington (lot 60); as well as a few bargains to catch the attention of all ranks of collectors.
Colonial America, the Revolution, George Washington, and the War of 1812 are the focal points. Dramatic battle scenes (land and sea) alternate with portraiture of the founding fathers, city views, and a thought-provoking section of allegorical prints which reflect on independent America’s new place in the world after the Revolution.
A small selection of important illustrated books and pamphlets on the Revolution (lots 15, 25, 26, and 40) complements the mezzotints, etchings, lithographs, and copper engravings.
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