Bloomsbury Offers Mid-Range Americana on March 5th
197. MAP - HOWELL, Reading. A Map of the State of Pennsylvania. [Philadelphia]: 1810. Folding hand-colored engraved map (537x852 mm) engraved by J. Vallance after Howell. Sectioned and linen-backed at an early date. Condition: slightly toned, trimmed to or just within the neatline.
A rare issue of the smaller scale version of Howell's important map of the state; this issue unrecorded by Ristow. Includes a small vignette view of the "Schuylkill permanent bridge" in the lower left corner.
$1500 – $2500
298. WASHINGTON, George. General Washington. From the Original Picture in Philadelphia. Philadelphia and London: Atkins & Nightingale, 1 July 1801. Mezzotint portrait, printed in colors and finished by hand, after Gilbert Stuart (plate size: 630x445 mm). On wove paper. Condition: light surface soiling, minor staining in the margins from prior framing, else a luminous impression with brilliant coloring.
An extremely rare, early color print of gilbert stuart's famous lansdowne portrait.
The Lansdowne portrait, so called because the original was commissioned of Stuart by William Bingham as a gift for the Marquis of Lansdowne, is the most iconic of all images of Washington, depicting him as the father of democracy.
In this issue of the print, the rainbow is absent from the sky through upper right window -- a famous element of the original painting. On the imprint line beneath the image, Atkins and Nightingale's London address ("No. 143 Leadenhall Street") has been added to the plate.
In the famed 1906 sale of the James T. Mitchell collection of portraits of Washington, several variants of this print came to auction for the first time. In the catalogue to that collection, the print is described as "so scarce that it is only within the last few years that it has been known to collectors." A color copy sold in that auction for $425 -- an enormous sum in 1906. Not in Baker.
$10000 – $15000
Few American auctions houses are able to master the intricacies of more than four well documented auctions a year in the books, manuscripts and ephemera field because the hurdles are substantial. Sufficient consignors must consign. The auction house must then describe both appropriately and convincingly, turn these descriptions into both effective paper catalogues and smooth searchable presences on line. Then they must vet buyers, conduct sales, be paid, pack, ship, and then pay the seller. In Bloomsbury New York we have a house that is out to break the code, to create a presence in the vacant space abdicated by Sotheby's and Christies as they pursue ever more valuable and rare material. This sale is an indication the process is well-engaged.