Jun 27, 2024 - Sale 2675

Sale 2675 - Lot 237

Price Realized: $ 1,250
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 1,000 - $ 1,500
(PENNSYLVANIA.) Elaborate membership certificate in the Federal-era True Republican Society of Philadelphia. Engraved certificate, 22 x 16½ inches, inscribed for member John Keep and signed by officers John Carter and John Johnson, with wax and textile seal affixed; minor edge wear, tastefully conserved and backed. Philadelphia, 7 January 1797

Additional Details

This society was founded in 1794 "for the laudable purpose of supporting each other in sickness and distress." They held regular meetings through at least 1812, and marched in a Lafayette parade in 1824.

This certificate was designed and engraved by John Bower, featuring Lady Liberty feeding an eagle from a chalice. She grasps a liberty pole which skewers the English crown, as she stands on a serpent. The certificate is framed by a decorative arch with the Eye of Providence in the keystone. He may be the same Bower who was an active engraver in Philadelphia from 1809 to 1819 (see Fielding's American Engravers), but we have traced no other works under this name from before 1809.

A lone copy of the printed 1797 "Rules and Regulations of the True Republican Society" is held at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, but we trace no other examples of this certificate in OCLC, at auction, or elsewhere.