Apr 15, 2021 - Sale 2564

Sale 2564 - Lot 59

Price Realized: $ 1,250
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 1,200 - $ 1,800
(WASHINGTON.) John James Barralet, artist and engraver. Commemoration of Washington. Hand-colored engraving, 27 x 20 1/2 inches; long diagonal fold, 4 short tape repairs in margins, minor edge wear, early pencil notes on verso. Np, circa 1820s

Additional Details

This literally uplifting image was first published in 1802. Washington is raised from his tomb by two figures described in the advertisement as "Immortality" and "the spiritual and temporal Genius." The weeping allegorical figure of America mourns at his feet, bearing a liberty pole and trampling a serpent, with a mourning Indian beside her. The emblems of the Society of the Cincinnati and the Freemasons hang on ribbons from the tomb. This print was often known as "The Apotheosis of Washington," but never actually bore that caption. It went untitled until the present title, "Commemoration of Washington," was added circa 1816. The composition was repurposed in 1865 with the superimposition of Lincoln's head (see lot 248, from a different consignor).

A long pencil note on verso offers a bit of provenance: "This print acquired in Glasgow, Scotland from the estate of Mr. G___ about 1870 after being in storage for over 50 years. Remarkable early Americana, highly esteemed as a portrait of Mr. Washington." Deutsch, "Washington Memorial Prints," in Antiques, February 1977, page 329, figure 12; Hart 675b; Stauffer 118 (state IV); Wick 101.