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Sale 2517 Lot 92
THE FORCE PRINTING (DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE.) Stone, William J.; engraver. In Congress, July 4, 1776. The Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America. Engraved broadside on rice paper, 29 1/4 x 25 1/4 inches; original folds, minimal offsetting, mounting stub on lower half of right edge. As crisp and clean an example as we've seen. [Washington, 1833]
Estimate $15,000 - 25,000
The Stone engraving of the Declaration of Independence is a cornerstone of Americana collecting. Stone painstakingly traced or copied the image onto the engraving plate over a three-year period. 200 copies were printed on vellum from his original plate in 1823. The plate was then altered slightly to produce rice-paper copies for Peter Force's American Archives series, with the original engraver's imprint rubbed out and a similar imprint added in the lower left beneath the signatures. These Force copies were printed from the altered plate by Stone in 1833, although they were not bound into volumes and released until 1848. Bidwell, American History in Image and Text 7n. See also Seth Kaller's 2014 pamphlet, "America's National Treasure: The Declaration of Independence & William J. Stone's Official Facsimile."