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Estimate: $ 1,500 - $ 2,500
A CLASSIC PORTRAIT (SLAVERY AND ABOLITION--AMISTAD CAPTIVES.) Cinque, The Chief of the Amistad Captives. Mezzotint engraving, 12-3/8 x 9-1/4 (image size 9-1/4 x 7-1/2) inches by John Sartain after the original painting by N. Jocelyn; professionally conserved and backed with archival paper. Philadelphia: Sartain, 1841
a rare original example of john sartain's exquisite mezzotint portrait of cinqueThis iconic image was engraved from an original oil portrait commissioned by Robert Purvis, noted member of Philadelphia's free black community. John Sartain, one of the finest engravers in the country sent approximately 200 copies of this engraving to Lewis Tappan, who was heading the defense committee for the Amistad captives in New Haven. There they were to be sold to raise funds for the defense. The end of the story of Cinque (whose actual African name was Sengbe Pieh) and the remaining captives is a sad one. Lewis Tappan, together with fellow abolitionists and the American Missionary Society helped fund the return of the 35 surviving Africans to Sierra Leone. They arrived in January, 1842, along with five missionaries and teachers who formed a Christian anti-slavery mission in the country. However, Cinque discovered that his wife and three children had been killed and his entire village destroyed while he had been away. Cinque reportedly wandered up and down the coast trading and the details of the end of his life are vague. He is said to have died in Sierra Leone around 1879.
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