Apr 15, 2021 - Sale 2564

Sale 2564 - Lot 260

Price Realized: $ 1,375
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 600 - $ 900
(MUSIC.) "Frances S. Keys" [Francis Scott Key]. The Star Spangled Banner, featuring a cover lithograph by Winslow Homer. 5 pages including illustrated cover, 13 3/4 x 9 1/2 inches, on 3 detached sheets; minimal wear. Boston: Oliver Ditson, 1856

Additional Details

The famed illustrator Winslow Homer (1836-1910) launched his career at age 19 as an apprentice lithographer for J.H. Bufford in Boston, working mostly on sheet music. Much of his work was uncredited, but this illustration has the initials "WH" craftily inscribed between the two lower medallion views, with a more formal credit going to "J.H. Bufford's Lith." This cover, featuring a battle scene, raised flag, eagle, and other patriotic motifs, was used for six different patriotic songs arranged by Francis Brown for the piano.

The following year, in 1857, Homer began his long run as a freelance illustrator for Harper's Weekly and other publications, but as an artist rather than a lithographer. His original credited lithographic works are not often seen, and to have this quintessential American artist grace the cover of the national anthem is a fortuitous combination. Not in Filby & Howard's Star-Spangled Books.