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The Civil War: Portraits
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"Winfield Scott. Lieut. General, Commanding U.S. Army." New York: Charles Magnus, 1858. Two tone lithograph. Oval portrait, ca. 15 1/4 x 13. Very good condition.
Though first issued just before the war, this portrait shows Scott, Commander in Chief of the U.S. Army, as he was at the beginning of the conflict. Though he did not play a very active role in the war, his image as America's military leader was very important through the war, and so portraits such as this would have graced many homes at the time. $250
Christian Schussele. "Maj. Gen. Geo. B. McClellan on the Battlefield of Antietam." Philadelphia: William Smith, 1863. Copyrighted by John Dainty, 1863. Steel engraving by A.B. Walter. 24 x 18 1/2. One expertly repaired tear at left, just into image. Else very good condition.
A strong full portrait on horse of the former commander of the Army of the Potomac, beautifully engraved by A.B. Walter. McClellan was popular with the military because he built a strong force and provided well for his officers and men. He had to be replaced because the civilian leaders saw that he did not pursue his enemy to a conclusion of hostilities. Having every advantage at the Battle of Antietam, he failed to pursue Lee's defeated army and lost an opportunity to end the war. This steel engraving might also have been used in 1864 when McClellan ran for the presidency on a ticket calling for peace. The 1863 date of Schussele's painting adds a sad note because that was the year when the artist, best known for his "Washington Crossing the Delaware," was struck with palsy and could paint no more. A strong and lovely piece of American history. $525
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'From an original daguerreotype.' "Lieut. General U.S. Grant." Philadelphia: Wm. Smith, [1864-5]. Mezzotint by John Sartain. 21 x 15 1/2. Very good condition.
In March of 1864 after Grant's success in Tennessee around Chattanooga Ulysses Simpson Grant (1822-1885) was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General. He was soon to be transferred to the eastern front where he took over command of the Army of the Potomac. The face and head used in this portrait probably was taken from a photograph as the credit alleges. The body, his horse, and ordnance surrounding Grant was taken from a previous print done in 1848 which was a portrait of Major General Zachary Taylor. Demand for portraits of the seemingly frequent new Union leaders was filled in this case by altering an older steel plate and using the elements that were still useful. Depiction of the soldiers in the background was changed to show uniforms of the Civil War rather than the Mexican War; however, the older design of the cannon at bottom right was retained. Still, a handsome and strong portrayal of Grant the new commander and future president. $425
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Max Rosenthal. "Maj. Gen. Wm. T. Sherman." Philadelphia: William Smith, 1865. Lithograph by L.N. Rosenthal. 28 3/4 x 22 1/2 (full sheet). Excellent condition.
A large and bold half portrait of William Tecumseh Sherman (1820-1891) in uniform and surrounded by accoutrements of war. After Grant he was the most successful of the Union generals due to his Atlanta Campaign, the March to the Sea, and finally the Carolina Campaign. As commander of military operations in the West he accepted the surrender of Joseph E. Johnston on 26 April 1865, soon afterward, this print was published. Seeing Sherman during the last weeks of the war Theodore Lyman described him as "the concentrated quintessence of Yankeedom . . . tall, spare, and sinewy, with a very long neck and big head . . . all his features express determination particularly the mouth." Many historians consider Sherman the best military leader of the war. The portrait was drawn by Max Rosenthal, a Russian emigrant who followed the Army of the Potomac and drew many Civil War scenes. $450
William Sartain. "Lieut. Gen. Thomas J. Jackson and His Family. ('Stonewall Jackson')." Philadelphia: Bradley & Co., 1866. Mezzotint by Wm. Sartain. 14 x 19 (image on backing sheet 17 3/4 x 22). Printed designation "proof" in lower right corner. Wide margins and strong impression. Very good condition. A fine copy of a very scarce print.
This exquisite engraving of Stonewall Jackson and his family was engraved and printed in the year after hostilities ended, primarily for the southern market. His widow and orphaned, doll-like child are with him surrounding an empty vase to recollect and represent the fallen hero of the Confederacy. Jackson's right hand is on a bible to invoke memories of his stern Presbyterian life in military matters as well as at home. On the wall behind the family are images of Robert E. Lee, John C. Calhoun, and George Washington -great men who provided background impetus for Jackson's achievements. This print was beautifully mezzotinted by William Sartain, who along with his father John, was the foremost American practitioner of this elaborate printmaking process for the production of historical prints. The print was Ref.: The Confederate Image, p. 127. $1,800
The Cincinnati lithographic firm of Ehrgott & Forbriger issued a fascinating series of portraits. They issued seventy-nine different prints of sixty-nine different Union politicians and officers. but they shared just a small group of backgrounds, so the same horse and body might appear with a number of different heads or the same body on a ship would house different visages. This print shows Frémont when he was still popular, perhaps during period he was Commander of the Department of the West. $275
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"Commodore Farragut. U.S. Navy." Cincinnati: Ehrgott & Forbriger, ca. 1862. Lithograph. Vignette, ca. 12 1/2 x 9 1/2.
Another Ehrgott & Forbridger print, this of Commodore Farragut, the background of which is almost exactly the same as a number of other portraits. $325
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