Apr 27, 2017 - Sale 2444

Sale 2444 - Lot 39

Price Realized: $ 2,250
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 800 - $ 1,200
(AMERICAN REVOLUTION--1781.) The Ballance of Power. Hand-colored engraving, 9 3/4 x 13 1/2 inches, signed "RS" in the plate; cropped with partial loss of imprint line, light folds, mount remnants on verso. London: Robert Wilkinson, 17 January 1781

Additional Details

A caricature by an overconfident British engraver. Britannia brandishes the sword of justice, warning that "No one injures me with impunity." On the scale of justice, she outweighs the combined weight of France, Spain, America, and Holland. A dejected Indian maiden representing America moans "My ingratitude is justly punished." The poem begins "America, dup'd by a treacherous train / Now finds she's a tool both to France and to Spain / Yet all three united can't weigh down the scale / So the Dutchman jumps in with the hope to prevail." Not to worry, after Britain has crushed its European rivals, "The Americans too will with Britons unite / And each to the other be mutual delight." America crushed the British army at Yorktown a few months later. Cresswell 786. Only one other traced at auction.