Now we offer one more portrait: Benjamin Franklin. Né a Boston, Dans La Nouvelle Angleterre Le 17 Janvier 1706. The engraved portrait is circa 1778. It shows Franklin bundled in a heavy robe with an “audacious” fur hat. Wearing his spectacles, Franklin holds a letter in his hand, though his gaze has moved from the writing to look directly at the artist. The portrait appeared around the time Franklin arrived in Paris, representing the newly declared free country of America. The dramatic portrait helped to raise Franklin's stature in the eyes of the Europeans he sought to convince to support America's cause. Item 74. $5,000.
The year 1828 marked the beginning of a transportation system that would soon open up all of America to travelers from coast to coast. Construction of the first major American railroad, the first to initiate regular freight and passenger service, was kicked off on July 4. A great celebration was held in Baltimore, home of the newly created Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. In honor of July 4, the first stone was laid by 90-year-old Charles Carroll of Carrollton, by then the last surviving signer of the Declaration of Independence. To celebrate the event, German immigrant composer Christopher Meineke wrote some music. And, while the old B&O is now gone (merged into CSX in 1987), his music lives on in this sheet music: Rail Road March. For the Fourth of July. Dedicated to the Directors of the Baltimore & Ohio Rail Road. This is a second edition, same year as the first (1828). Item 27. $1,250.