Prints by Thomas Nast. New York: Harper's Weekly, 1868-1886. Single page (ca. 16 x 11) and double page (ca. 22 x 16). Wood engravings. Very good condition, unless otherwise noted.
Harper's Weekly, a newspaper in the last half of the nineteenth and early twentieth century, presented a mixture of news stories, gossip, poetry, and most notably, wood-engraved illustrations. Amongst the most famous of the illustrators who worked for the magazine was Thomas Nast, 'father of American political cartooning.' Nast was born in 1840 and immigrated to the United States in 1846 with his family from Bavaria. By early 1862, he had become a war correspondent for Harper's Weekly. His patriotic themes for the Union cause created such attention that President Lincoln cited Nast as his "best recruiting sergeant".
During the first 25 years following the war between the states, Nast became the most significant illustrator of American political and social issues. His pointed cartoons exerted a great impact on public opinion. Every presidential candidate to gain his support won and his stature increased with the successful campaign in 1870-71 to bring down "Boss" Tweed of New York's corrupt Tammany Hall and his political machine. More than a mere cartoonist, Nast was an innovator of political images, popularizing or instituting many now familiar subjects such as the Republican elephant, the Democratic donkey, John Bull, Uncle Sam, and Columbia.
Note: We do have other Nast political cartoons; enquire for further information.
The Republican elephant is shown emerging from a hole labeled "Third Term Trap," a reference to the Democratic protests over a possibthird term for U.S. Grant. The "other" trap is shown as a "Reformed Tammany Hall," of which Nast was very skeptical. $150
The Republican elephant is shown here in a very dire predicament. Already battered and scarred, a characterization which Nast used after that fall's bitter loss of both the Senate and House, the elephant is shown falling from a cliff. The rocks which have become loose and insecure are labeled with the various issues that antagonized and, from Nast's perspective, endangered his party and as well as financial security of the nation. $125
A dog with a ribbon labeled, "Political Communism" stands on its forelegs and holds a bow. A beaver representing the industrial middle class lies mortally wounded by two arrows, with one reading "90 cent silver", and the second, "Income Tax." In the background, a content-looking rhinoceros labeled "Wealth" rubs up against a large safe. The dog is pointing at the rhinoceros as he exclaims, "I aimed at Him." $45
Set as a domestic dispute, Columbia scolds Uncle Sam for his actions regarding the currency issue and the actions of the presiding Cabinet. $40
The quote reads, "The Bloated Rag-Baby Owner. 'Now that we're going to choose another President, you'll be talked about so much that you'll grow quite stuck up again.'" This is a resurrection of one of Nast's more enduring symbols, the rag-baby of inflation. $40
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©The Philadelphia Print Shop, Ltd. Last updated May 4, 2012