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The Philadelphia Print Shop, Ltd.Historical Prints

Prints of George Washington


Paul: Washington Family
Jeremiah Paul Jr. "The Washington Family." London and Philadelphia: Atkins and Nightingale, December 1, 1800. 18 x 24 (image). Mezzotint engraved by Edward Bell. Expertly repaired tear in bottom right corner. Minor staining in wide margins not affecting image. Otherwise, very good condition. Extremely rare. Baker 411.

This print depicts George Washington taking leave of his family to take command of the United States Army in 1798 after his appointment by John Adams. A wonderful symbolic print of sacrifice and service, with Washington, having left his family two decades earlier to serve in the Revolutionary War and as President, leaving yet again to serve his country. Washington is dressed in his uniform and standing upon a portico with steps below. A riding whip is in his left hand, and his right hand is extended towards Mrs. Washington in a sign of farewell. Martha's right hand is hidden behind her back indicating her disapproval of her husband's decision to accept the appointment. Behind the pair is a large curtain flanked by two columns representing the elderly pair. Two tassels hang down the column closest to Washington which represents his military record. In the background, a Negro groom is waiting with Washington's saddled horse. Behind Martha, and seldom depicted together, are all three of Washington's adopted children: Elizabeth, George Washington and Eleanor Custis. Following the death of their father, John Custis in 1781, Elizabeth, the oldest child, stayed with her mother while the other two children were sent to live at Mount Vernon.

Jeremiah Paul Jr. was a Philadelphian who studied under Charles Willson Peale and his son Rembrandt Peale and is known to have painted some of the lettering in Rembrant Peale's portraits. Paul is one of the founders of the first major art exhibition in America, the Columbianum exhibition, in Philadelphia in 1795. Paul eventually left Philadelphia in 1803 and traveled around the country painting miniatures, portraits, signs, and conducting exhibitions. He died near St. Louis on July 13, 1820. Overall, a wonderfully executed mezzotint. $3,800

Eulogium to George Washington
Benjamin O. Tyler. "Eulogium Sacred to the Memory of the Illustrious George Washington, Columbia's Great and Successful Son: Honored be his Name." Also, around oval portrait of Washington, "Sacred To The Memory of the Brave." New York: B.O. Tyler, 1817. Engraved by P[eter] Maverick, Newark, N. Jersey. 19 x 23 (full sheet). Condition: Printed on a fragile, thin sheet; with some subsequent tears and missing chip at right margin just into engraved surface. Print professionally conserved and backed. The image is totally intact and strong. Some skinning from the back is evident but in the unusually full margins. References: Baker, 404. Hart, 796b. Stauffer, 2232, iii.

The complexity of this dedicatory print to George Washington almost defies description. It is a most impressive exercise in penmanship and engraving by Benjamin O. Tyler, "Professor of Penmanship." A strong, stipple engraving of Washington after the Stuart portrait is in an oval which surmounts two statements which mourn his death: "Gen. George Washington departed this life Decr. 14th 1799 AE67. And the tears of a NATION watered his grave" and at the base "Washington's no more by silence grief's express'd / Lo! here he lies, his Works proclaim the rest." The portrait is flanked by Masonic symbols: a book held open by a compass and angle on the left and a shining sun on the right. The emphasis of the text appearance is calligraphy using many letters and ingenious figures of angels to express encomiums and prayers.

The story behind it tells volumes about the reputation of Washington among the American people in the first half of the nineteenth century. In his landmark article "American History in Image and Text," in Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society, Vol. 98, pt. 2(1988) see especially pp. 247-53, John Bidwell has shown that Benjamin Tyler's memorial was first issued at the same time as John Trumbull's famous print of the Declaration of Independence, and, indeed, it competed with it because Trumbull complained of the situation. In this third state of the memorial, Tyler added a facsimile of Washington's signature to the bottom right corner, thus appealing to the new fashion of collecting authentic signatures at that time. In this way, Tyler also aligned his print to compete with John Binns' famous print of the "Declaration of Independence" which contained facsimile signatures of all the signers. This beautiful, complex, and fascinating print expresses much about the patriotic fervor of Americans at this time. $1,600

Moore: Apotheosis of Washington
Samuel Moore. [Apotheosis of Washington.] London(?), ca. 1830(?). "Litograph" [sic] by H. Weishaupt. "Stamped" by J.M. Hermann. 23 x 17 3/4. Good margins, with text at bottom. Repaired tears at left and right. Marginal stains. Else, very good condition.

When George Washington died, on December 14, 1799, the nation as a whole mourned his death as that of a father, as indeed Washington was for the then still young United States. The celebration of mourning throughout the country brought the people together as few events since the Revolution had. Poets, politicians, preachers, and newspapers declaimed his death in moving phrases and artists created images which tried to express the feelings which welled up in the breasts of his countrymen. One of the most potent artistic symbols was that of the 'apotheosis' of Washington, scenes of Washington ascending to heaven in all his glory. One of the most unusual and interesting of the apotheosis scenes is this early lithograph based on a painting by Samuel Moore.

The image is explicated by text at the bottom, but the image is readily understood even today. At the top, Washington is being born to heaven by the seven virtues, "the inmates of his Soul in his terrestial Pilgrimmage." Beneath, just below the American crest with its eagle, stands Columbia, "who looks up to him [Washington] as the rock of her consolation." In the foreground are shown the sixteen "Orphan States, dissolving in sorrow at his Tomb, and lamenting the departure of their adored Friend, Benefactor, and Protector." This reflects the sixteen states which were part of the United States at the time of Washington's death. This print is very rare and it is hard to date, but this image is certainly one of the most interesting and unusual Washington prints. $1,800

Sacred to the Memory of Washington
John I. Donlevy. "Sacred to the Memory of the Illustrious Champion of Liberty General George Washington First President of the United States of America." New York: John Donlevy, circa 1832. Engraving. 16 1/2 x 14. Wear in lower left and some minor surface blemishes. Expertly conserved and overall very good appearance. Hart: 862a; Wick, pp. 58-62.

Calligraphic illustrations were popular means for engravers to demonstrate their skill (cf. Tyler print above), and that is well evidenced by this tour-de-force by John I. Donlevy. Donlevy, who lists himself as an "Intaglio-chromographic and Electrographic Engraver," used his engraving and calligraphic skill to make this memorial image of Washington based on Stuart's "Athenaeum" painting. The face of the portrait is a straight engraving, but the rest of the bust is done with effusive swirls, and the writing giving the title, as well as Washington's dates, is done in various elaborate calligraphy styles. A nice example of a memorial for Washington and a particularly fine example of American engraving. $1,250

Cogniet Washington
Leon Cogniet. "Washington." New York: James Herring, 1839. Engraving by Jean Nicolas Laugier; signed by Laugier in pencil. 24 3/4 x 20 3/4. Very good condition. Baker: 417.

A handsome print of Washington from the first half of the nineteenth century, highlighting the fashion in American culture for images of George Washington. During his life and following his death, Washington was elevated to national symbol, and his image graced every possible object from water jugs to neckerchiefs. Prints showing Washington were issued during his life-time and pretty much continuously throughout the nineteenth century. This is one of most impressive full-figure engravings produced. This portrait is especially fine, taken from Gilbert Stuart's work from the neck up, but realistically portraying Washington's stature. As his adopted son, George Washington Parke Custis, noted, Cogniet's representation was one of only two extant to capture Washington's "matchless limbs." $2,400

George Washington
Alfred Newsam. "George Washington. 1st. President of the United States." Philadelphia: C.W. Williams, 1846. Ca. 10 1/2 x 9. Lithograph by P.S. Duval. Original hand color. Very good condition.

A handsome portrait from a rare series of "Portraits of the Presidents." The publisher of this series was C.W. Williams, who used two of the most important figures in early American lithography, Alfred Newsam and P.S. Duval. Alfred Newsam, a deaf mute, began work as a lithographic artist almost two decades before working for Cephas G. Childs, a Philadelphia engraver and print publisher. Newsam was particularly noted for his portraits, including all the earliest images for the McKenney & Hall series of Indian portraits. In 1831, Childs formed a partnership with Henry Inman, at which time he went to Europe to learn more about lithography, which was still in its early stages. Childs came back with P.S. Duval, to help run the Childs & Inman presses. This was perhaps Childs' most significant contribution to American lithography, for Duval was to become one of the foremost lithographers in the country and the world. The quality of the work of both Newsam and Duval is evident in this fine portrait, which is finely drawn, lithographed, and colored. The image is surrounded by an elaborate border, indicating that Williams wanted his series to stand out from the plainer prints issued by his competitors. His strategy does not appear to have been very successful, as the scarcity of these images indicates not that many were sold. $575

Washington Crossing Delaware
"Washington Crossing the Delaware. On the Evening previous to the Battle of Trenton Dec. 25th. 1776." Credit reads, "Lith. G & Pubd. By J. Baillie 118 Nassau St. N.Y." Peters' America on Stone locates this firm at 118 Nassau Street from 1845 to 1847. Lithograph (hand coloring). Small folio 8 1/4 x 12 1/2 (image) plus full margins. Bright.

The most famous battle art picture of George Washington crossing the Delaware that was produced in paintings (beginning in 1851) and prints was by Emanuel Leutze and multiplied in many engravings and lithographs showing the father of his country standing heroically in a boat. Much less is known that Thomas Sully (1783-1872), best known for portraits of famous people and his own family, attempted to produce a large picture of "Washington's Passage of the Delaware" for the North Carolina legislature in 1818. It was too large for the space planned being seventeen by twelve feet, and the project failed. Still, images of Sully's design were copied and reproduced, and this is one that was printed a little more than twenty years afterward. The American army, horses, and ordinance depart for the far shore and New Jersey. A heroic piece. $475

Welch: Washington
After Gilbert Stuart. "Washington." Philadelphia: George W. Childs, 1852. 22 3/4 x 18. Engraving by Thomas B. Welch. Printed by A.E. Lent. Very good condition.

A large engraving after Stuart's Boston Athenaeum painting. The engraving by Welch has a soft, heroic feel which makes this an interesting example of the popular prints of Washington that began appearing at an accelerated rate in the mid-nineteenth century. $750

Junius Brutus Stearns. "Life of George Washington. The Soldier." New York: M. Knoedler, 1853. 18 1/4 x 24 1/2. Lithograph by Regnier. Printed in Paris. Original hand color. Repaired tear in bottom left margin not affecting image. Otherwise, very good condition. Professionally conserved and framed.

Junius B. Stearns (1810-1885) was an American genre and portrait painter who studied at the National Academy of Design, as well as exhibited there throughout his career and served as recording secretary from 1851 to 1865. Stearns became interested in historical themes and in 1849 completed a painting of the marriage of George and Martha Washington which was purchased by the American Art Union for its exhibit in 1850 and was subsequently part of the Art Union's lottery. Stearns was inspired by the success of this painting to plan a cycle of four images of the life of Washing and he solicited the AAU to commission this series, but was turned down. Stearns proceeded anyway and ended up with five paintings showing Washington as a citizen-at his wedding (modified from the earlier canvas), a farmer-overseeing workers on his plantation, a soldier-at the defeat of Braddock, a statesman-taking the inauguration oath, and finally as a Christian-on his deathbed.

Stearns had the five paintings made into lithographs in France, using Regnier to do the fine lithography. The critics applauded both the conception and execution of these fine prints which are a wonderful series showing the "Father of his Country" in a humanized manner. This example shows George Washington during the French and Indian War. In 1755, the British attempted to capture Fort Duquesne during the French and Indian War. The French and their Indian allies routed the British and General Braddock was killed. Washington then had the responsibility of safely leading the army into retreat. This print shows the moment when Braddock was killed and is one of five painted by Stearns chronicling the life of Washington. $1,400

George Washington Farmer
Junius Brutus Stearns. "Life of George Washington. The Farmer." New York: M. Knoedler, 1853. 18 1/4 x 24 1/2. Lithograph by Regnier. Printed in Paris. With repaired tears into image. Expertly conserved.

Another in the Stearns series of prints of Washington's life. This example shows George Washington overseeing workers on his plantation. He talks to a white man holding a rake, who is probably his overseer. The rest of the workers are black and would therefore have been slaves. This fact is not alluded to in the image, which indeed shows the slaves as happy and healthy. Mt. Vernon is shown in the background on a hill above the Potomac River. $350

Junius Brutus Stearns. "Life of George Washington. [The Christian.]" New York: M. Knoedler, 1853. 18 1/4 x 24 1/2. Lithograph by Regnier. Printed in Paris. Narrow margins top and sides, and bottom margin with short repaired tear and with sub-title trimmed off. Otherwise, very good condition.

Another of the prints from Stearns' series, this shows the final hours of Washington's life. Washington's family and friends gather at his bedside, Washington preparing himself for death with an equanimity founded in his knowledge that he had lived his life well and honorably. $325

Darley: Washington's Adieu to his Generals
F.O.C. Darley. "Washington's Adieu to His Generals." Steel engraving by George R. Hall. 17 3/4 x 24 (image) plus text. Probably New York, 1860. Some of bottom margin trimmed. Margins top and sides but within platemarks.

This spirited depiction of Washington leaving New York amid the cheers and waves of his officers and men would represent the events of 4 December 1783. Washington took leave of his generals at Fraunces Tavern within the city, and this scene would have followed the monumental event. The scene shows him en route to Annapolis where Congress was meeting, and to whom he then surrendered his commission later that month. Darley's idealized depictions of American sailors coupled with the enthusiastic officers (one weeps) on shore is typical of the sentiments expressed in Washington Irving's Life of George Washington which was first published in 1855 and was repeatedly printed in additional editions. $850

G.G. White. "Father, I Cannot Tell A Lie: I Cut The Tree." New York: John C. McRae, ca. 1860. 14 3/4 x 21 1/2 (image) plus full and generous margins. Engraving by John C. McRae. Some old stains in upper left margin. Otherwise, very good condition.

A sentimental image of this apocryphal story of Washington's youth. The "Cherry Tree" episode was invented in 1806 by Parson Mason Weems in a book commemorating Washington's life that was first published in 1800. The book was issued in numerous edition through the 1830s, and this print, separately issued around 1855, is a wonderful reminder of the popularity of the story that exists even today as part of the Washington 'image'. The imagery of the print is very interesting, for the house shown in the background is a small, wood, single-story building, more appropriate to Lincoln's childhood than Washington's. Also shown are three black farm hands (slaves?). Another interesting feature is the fact that in this image Washington has not actually cut down the cherry tree, but rather just taken one cut of it. Perhaps the artist did not want Washington to have caused serious harm, just to have made a childish mistake? $600

Faed: Washington receiving a salute  ... at Trenton
John Faed. [Washington Receiving a Salute on the Field of Trenton]. "Go. Washington." [facsimile signature]. Ca. 1860. Steel engraving by William Holl. 23 1/2 x 17 1/2 (image) plus full margins. Perhaps proof before title. Fine condition. Eisen, II, 554.

John Faed (1820-1902) was a prominent English painter who made several portraits of Washington in the course of which he modified the face using both Trumbull and Stuart. This strong image of Washington on a charger, reviewing the troops, is a wonderful portrait with exquisite landscape. Eisen says that the engraver is "Hall" and that he worked for the Kendall Bank Note Company in New York at 285 Broadway during the nineteenth century. We doubt that the engraver misspelled his own name, so this print is done by William Holl (1807-1871) who worked with portraiture in London. $1,650

Marshall's Lincoln
William E. Marshall after Gilbert Stuart. "G. Washington." New York: W.E. Marshall, 1862. 13 3/8 x 11 1/4. Steel engraving by W.E. Marshall. Very good condition.

An excellent engraving of George Washington by William E. Marshall, based on the famous oil portrait in the Boston Athenaeum by Gilbert Stuart. Marshall was well known for his superb portrait of Lincoln, issued in 1866, and for his equally fine engraving of Grant issued a few years later. Those prints were perhaps inspired in part by this excellent portrait of Washington. It was issued as a subscriber's print for The Christian Union, a newspaper published by J.B. Ford & Co. One of the best mid-nineteenth century portraits of the first president by an artist who would later produce what is often considered the best contemporary portrait of the 16th president. $600

Washington and Lincoln
"Washington and Lincoln. The Father And The Saviour Of Our Country." New York: Currier & Ives, 1865. Lithograph. Medium folio; 15 x 11. Some old stains, but overall very good condition. C:6510.

Currier & Ives, "America's Printmakers," issued many prints on current political and social themes, and during the Civil War these included a large number with a pro-Union bent. This is one of the best examples of that genre, a print showing George Washington shaking the hand of Abraham Lincoln before the eternal flame of Liberty. This tied together the "Father of his Country" with the President trying to preserve that country, as a Union and as the support of liberty throughout the world. $750

Kimmel: Columbia's Noblest Sons
Kimmel & Forster. "Columbia's Noblest Sons." New York: Henry & William Voight, 1865. 14 1/8 x 20 1/8. Lithograph by Manson Lang. Very good condition. Holzer, et al., The Lincoln Image, fig. 95.

A handsome print linking Lincoln with the revered George Washington. Portraits of the first and sixteenth Presidents are placed in ovals on either side of the figure of Columbia, who holds a laurel wreath above the head of each. To the left of Washington are drawn scenes from the Revolution, and these are mirrored on Lincoln's left by scenes from the Civil War. Below the former is shown the Declaration of Independence, and below the latter the Emancipation Proclamation. As Holzer, Boritt and Neely say, "The meaning was unmistakable: the birth of freedom in America under Washington in 1776 and the "new birth of freedom" on January 1, 1863, were of equal importance." (The Lincoln Image, p. 197). By the time this print was issued, Lincoln was being placed by his supporters on a level with Washington, and this print is an excellent example of that trend. $475

Peale: Patriae Pater
Rembrandt Peale. "Patriae Pater." Philadelphia: Hugh A. McCann, ca. 1865? 19 x 15 1/8. Engraving by Adam B. Walter. Good margins. On India paper and mounted, as issued. With repaired tears. Ca. 1 x 2 inch semicircle replaced in facsimile from right side of image. Still, very good condition image and appearance.

An excellent engraving after one of Rembrandt Peale's paintings of George Washington. From an early age when he watched his father, Charles Wilson Peale, paint portraits of Washington, Rembrandt venerated the General. He painted several portraits himself and spent much of his later life lecturing on Washington and his portraits. This image of Washington shows his bust within an oval opening of stone, with a carved wreath. The keystone of the opening has an antique head, and below, also carved in the stone, is the title, "Patriae Pater." Below the image is a dedication to General U.S. Grant, likely dating this engraving to shortly after the Civil War. The likeness of Washington is excellent, not surprising given that Washington sat for Rembrandt on several occasions. With is superior engraving, strong imagery, and artistic quality, this is a fine print of Washington. $900

After Gilbert Stuart. "Washington." Philadelphia: William Smith, ca. 1865-76. Tinted lithograph. 26 1/2 x 22 (full sheet). Excellent condition.

A bust portrait of George Washington based on paintings by Gilbert Stuart. A fine image of Washington whose memory was used to keep the United States together during the crises of the 1850s, during the Civil War, and through the Reconstruction Period. George Washington was a plantation owner, had slaves, and was a Southerner, but he was also a Federalist who wanted a strong central government and a balance of power among the branches of government. A portrait such as this would have hung in homes and offices and especially in schools. $350

Prints of Washington by Currier & Ives