Thursday, October 22, 2009

Currier & Ives prints & collectors

Last week I discussed general information about "America's printmakers," Currier & Ives. Today I'll look at some different aspects of their prints and collectors of them.

Maps seem to attract a lot of collectors, more so than do prints. There are collectors for important historical figures, such as Washington and Lincoln, and historical events, such as the American Revolution or Presidential elections, but most prints are purchased more on a one time basis rather than as part of a collection. Besides historical prints, the one type of print that is collected more than any other are those by Currier & Ives. Currier & Ives have been collected ever since the early twentieth century and today there are still many people who collect these wonderful images of nineteenth century America.


I have talked about "value ranking" for different types of prints and there is definitely a ranking of values for different sorts of Currier & Ives prints. In general, the most valuable are winter scenes, followed closely by railroad prints. Other popular subjects are hunting & fishing, sporting, steamships, and western. City views bring a lot of money, but this is more because of collectors of the cities shown rather than because of Currier & Ives collectors. There is a big difference in price between one of the prints in these popular subjects (a large folio print can go in the tens of thousands of dollars) and a less desirable subject (some large folio subjects sell in the hundreds).

There is also a big difference in price for Currier & Ives prints based on condition. As discussed in previous blogs, one of the thing that makes a collector is the use of criteria and Currier & Ives collectors are generally real sticklers for condition. A print with any sort of condition issue, especially if a subject sought by collectors, will sell for much less than one in excellent condition. A small folio railroad print in fine condition will sell for over $2,000, whereas one with tears or faded color will not sell at all to serious collectors and so will sell for much less to when it does sell.

One of the "peculiar" things about Currier & Ives collectors is that many of them are very focused on margins. One can find Currier & Ives prints with big margins, but the majority have been trimmed down from their "full sheets" over the years, usually in order to fit into a frame. Some collectors will not even consider a Currier & Ives print, no matter how good condition it is otherwise, unless it has "large" margins. There is a story that a collector drove for hours to go see a top Currier & Ives because the owner told him it had large margins and was in great shape, but when the collector got to the owner's house he found that it was a reproduction, only about half the size of the original. The collector hadn't bothered to ask what size the print was, only how big the margins were!

I think you can probably tell from my tone that I am not a believer in this focus. Yes, there is no question that all other things being equal, a Currier & Ives print with big margins is better than one with smaller margins. Also, one certainly doesn't want the print trimmed so that some of the imprint is cut off and I do think one wants to have at least some margin all around so that the print can be put into a frame without the mat or frame bevel coming right up to the image. However, as long as there are reasonable margins around the image (say about 1/2 inch) I don't think a collector should be too bothered about the size of the margins.


The reason for this is that the margins are not something that has any essential meaning to the prints. That is, there is no historical significance to the margins and in fact trimmed margins are more a part of the actual history of Currier & Ives prints than big margins. Currier & Ives themselves sold prints in their shop with the option of buying them framed. If you went into their shop and picked out a print and a frame, they would immediately cut down the print to fit into the frame. I have never seen a clearly "period" framing job on a Currier & Ives print which had large margins. This just wasn't how people framed Currier & Ives prints. All the historic evidence we have, from existing period-framed prints or from images in prints like that above, indicates that when Currier & Ives prints were framed at the time, they were put in frames with little or no margins.

The margins these prints had before trimming was just based on what paper the firm was using; it was not something they put on the prints intentionally. I guess the bottom line for me is that if prints with trimmed margins (within reason) are what people at the time generally had and this was good enough for Currier & Ives themselves, then it is good enough for me. (Sorry about this rant, but this is a basic disagreement I have with a number of Currier & Ives collectors).

Another thing that is peculiar to these prints is that lists have been made of the "Best 50" Currier & Ives prints (out of about 8,000 different images!) In 1932 a jury of twelve Currier & Ives experts and collectors selected a group of what they considered to be the "Best 50" large folio Currier & Ives prints. For fifty days running, these prints were illustrated and described in the New York Sun. This publicity created much interest, and subsequent newspaper sales, so that the following year the "Best 50" small folio prints were also selected (four medium folio prints were included in this list). These two lists created an instant market for the 100 prints chosen and the lists have been reprinted in many Currier & Ives books since.

In 1988 a new, more democratic process of selecting the "Best 50" was sponsored by the American Historical Print Collectors Society (AHPCS). "The Best 50 - Revisited" was begun by a panel of experts who selected the "Top 100" of both large and small folio prints. These prints were then presented in a ballot to the entire membership of the AHPCS, which then selected the "New Best 50" large and small folio prints. A handsome book, Currier & Ives. The New Best 50 was published in 1990 with all the new "best" prints illustrated in color and with an analysis of the differences between the original and new lists.


The prints from all four lists are all wonderful prints, generally considered to be the best of the Currier & Ives oeuvre. They are very collectible and usually command a premium price. If someone wants to collect Currier & Ives and doesn't want to pay such a premium, there are, of course, many other types of Currier & Ives prints to collect. There are many fun subjects (children, barnyard animals, kittens and dogs, etc.) which one could collect without having to pay absolutely top dollar. Any Currier & Ives in good condition will sell for a fair amount, but if you spend a bit of time looking around, you can find ways to collect these wonderful prints without spending a fortune.

123 comments:

  1. The Story of Harness Racing collection by Currier & Ives will be on display at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library May 3, 2010 – August 31, 2010 Monday thru Friday. Come and see!

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  2. Where can I find information on the currier & ives print "the old farm gate"?

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  3. Because the firm issued over 7,000 different prints, there is little to say about any particular image. For some of their prints there is an artist, and some have a unique history, but for most all you can say about them is the general information about the firm, which you can read about in this blog.

    If you wish to research your print on your own, there are a couple of volumes which list most of the over 7,000 prints issued by N. Currier and Currier & Ives. Both of these books contain details of title, size, and so forth and are very useful. Both books are out of print, but can sometimes be found on the market and they are also often found in a good library. These volumes are: Frederic A. Conningham, updated by Colin Simkin. Currier & Ives Prints. An Illustrated Check List and Gale Research Currier & Ives, A Catalogue Raisonne.

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  4. I have what I think is an original print. Subject is a sleigh scene, two horses, man and a woman in sled, signed and imprinted on the bottom left corner, artist Otis Knirsch. can anyone tell me about this. I fits all the descriptions of evaluating authenticity of Currier & Ives prints.

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  5. i have 4 season pics of currier&Lves american homesteam with the act of congress in the year 1868 how much do you i can get for all for

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  6. This is not really the forum to be discussing values of prints, other in general terms. The real question is whether your prints are originals. There is a good chance they are not as this is a popular subject used for many reproductions.

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  7. i have a question i have 3 pictures of currier and ives 1 is spring at the homestead s189 the second is winter in the country s 191 and harvest s188 these pictures are like hologram they are gold and also look 3d i want to know if these are worth anything i got the at and estate sale thanks

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  8. These are reproductions, and like all reproductions, have only "decorative" value.

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  9. My aunt has an old Currier & Ives. She said that it is "the way of the Cross" and described it as looking through a window. I did not see the picture but my aunt is 92 years old; so, I'm sure the picture is old too. Any idea what it might be or how I can find info on it?

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  10. If you read the queries above, you should find the answer to your question.

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  11. I have a book titled "Currier and Ives America" edited by Colin Simkin. On the title page it reads "A panorama of the mid-nineteenth century scene. Eighty choice prints in full color with extended commentary on the prints and the times which they portray. Can you let me know what it is worth? The pictures are in mint condition however the cover page and binding is loose. thank you

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  12. Hello Sir,



    I purchased a print today and if you would be so kind to let me know if this print is a original please?

    Here is the information:

    On the back of the frame paper:

    Academy Arts

    820 N. Orleans Street

    Chicago, Il. 60810

    Division of Intercraft Industries Corp.

    Style #8678N

    Finish Walnut

    Made in USA



    I took the back paper off and on the back of the print itself is the following information:

    (Left bottom corner)

    Dufex Prints- printed in England

    S189



    Please let me know your thoughts and thanks so much for your time.

    Hello there,

    I purchased a print today. I would like to get your opinion if it is a original. her is the information:
    On hte back of the frame is the following:
    Currier and Ives 6x8 foil print
    Academy Arts
    820 N. Orleans Street
    Chicago, Il. 60810
    Division of Intercraft Industries Corp.
    Style #8678N
    Finish Walnut
    made in USA

    I took the back off of the frame and the following information was listed on the print itself:
    Dufex Prints
    printed in England
    S189

    Please let me know your thoughts and thanks so much
    e-mail:
    pami@hawkeyefoodservice.com

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  13. My neighbor is 86 and a retired printer. He has asked me to help him sell his corrier & ives lithographs. He has ALOT how would I start this process?

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  14. This is really not the place to be asking about selling prints. I try to keep this blog as non-commercial as possible. Please have your friend call us at our phone number 215-242-4750.

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  15. Hi Chris,
    Mine say "published by Currier & Ives," in the bottom left corner. Does that make them reproductions?

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  16. If all it says in "published by Currier & Ives" then, yes, it is definitely a reproduction. There was always more information than that on an original C&I print.

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  17. Hi Chris
    I have a book
    Currier and Ives
    Printmakers to the American People
    by Harry T. Peters
    Doubleday, Doran & Co., Inc.
    Garden City, New York MCMXLII

    This Special Edition of Currier & Ives
    is et in 12 pt. Caslon Monotype with hand-drawn decorative intials The design and typography is by a.p. Tedesco and the book has been produced by Zeese-Wilkinson Company, Inc. and H. Wolff Book Manufacturing Company.
    Copyright 1942,by Harry T. Peters

    this book appears to be copies of prints

    Any comment of this book would be helpful.

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  18. This is a typical C&I reference books, of which there are many. As the prints are so popular, some of these books are very nicely done--as is this one, but it is not something that has a lot of value. If you look on-line for book sellers, I am fairly sure you'll find a number of these for sale. You can try, for instance, www.bookfinder.com It is something to be enjoyed, but not worried about in terms of value.

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  19. In a box lot of items I purchased at an auction today I found a cardboard mailing tube (about 12 inches long) with a Currier & Ives print rolled up inside, excellent condition, three 1/2 cent stamps on the outside of the mailing tube, mailing label looks old, says "White's Quaint Shop," Westfield, Massachusetts, name typed on label (mailed to:) Poulah Chandler, Bartlett NH; at the bottom of the label it says "Here's Your Gift" Print is about 8 by 10, "The Old Farm House;" beneath the image, left side, it says "Published by Currier & Ives;" on the right side it says "125 Nassau Street"' and in the middle it says "Entered according to act of Congress in the year 1872 by Currier & Ives in the office of the Librarian of Congress at Washington." Does this sound like the real thing?

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    Replies
    1. No, this is a reproduction. C&I prints were not issued this way, but as flat, separate prints in the 19th century. Many, many firms made reproductions and issued them in many different formats. That doesn't mean they are not nice prints, for they can be very decorative, but they are not "the real thing."

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  20. I have 2 6x 8 foil pictures in their original frames. Style # 6663 Finish Map/BLK another number 666. These were my mothers. Made by Intercraft Industries Corp. 1840 N. Clybourn Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60614. Are they of any value?

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    Replies
    1. I have the same print #6663. Did u ever get any answers? love to know.

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    2. Any prints like this that are reproductions of C&I prints have only "decorative" value. That is, they are worth what they look like as decorative items. They have no collector value.

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  21. I would like to know if my print is the orginal or reproduction. My mother was born in 1926 and always had this tin can. It has a winter scence with people skating:
    Early Winter
    Lithograph by Currier & Ives, 1869
    The Harry T Peter's Collection, Museum of the City of New York
    P3224
    It has numbers stamped on the bottom of the can.
    Do you have any knowledge of this can?
    Thank you

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  22. I have two prints that have been on my mothers wall since I was a boy.I am 43 now. One of a boy sitting on beach looking at the ocean and the other of a girl standing on the beach pointing at the sky.Prints are by Academy Arts. STYLE(6982),SUBJECT(Juveniles)I was wondering what the worth is or where I might find more information on them.Any information would be greatly appreciated. these prints are in mint condition. Thanks Paul

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  23. i just came across a print of Currier and Ives "The Life of a Hunter - A Tight Fix". I noticed it behind a portait I found of my father. My father was 19 when the picture was taken 1932 so i am assuming it has been there ever since the picture was framed. It is in very good condition with slight paper discoloration (from age I suppose). Any idea what something like this would be worth? Thanks - PFA

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  24. My bet is that this is a reproduction and not an original. Two reasons for this; first, this is a rare print (at least the original is) and there are quite a number of reproductions of it. Secondly, if it was behind another print, then it is likely the wrong size. The original is about 19 x 27 1/2 inches and that is so large it is somewhat hard to imagine it behind another print. If your print is the large size, then it could be an original and would have some significant value. If a reproduction, then it has only "decorative" value.

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  25. I have the 4 print set of the american homestead Winter, Spring, Summer, and Autumn.

    The paper on the back of each is numbered 2054.

    I have had them for year and below the photo of each prints read exactly as follows on each.

    Left: PUBD BY CURRIERS & IVES

    Center: Entered according to Act of Congress A) 1869, by Currier & Ives, in the Clerks Officeof the District Court of the United States for the Southern District of New York

    Right: 152 NASSAU ST.N.Y.

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  26. Hello,
    I received a small Currier print from my great aunt after she passed. She had it for at least 70 years. They were very well off so i don't think it is repo? It says in left hand side LITH, & PUB. BY N. CURRIER, in the middle THE CARRIER DOVE> The Departure 350. on the right side 152 NASSAU ST. COR of SPRUCE, NY
    I have looked up this print only to be disappointed because the image does not match mine. Mine has 2 girls the smaller is looking at the viewer and has a royal blue dress and yellow sash the bigger is holding a dove with a little envelope around it's neck she has a pale pink dress and teal? sash blue/green bird. it is in a very primative frame with newspaper behind it. could you please help me identify it?

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  27. Currier & Ives did a number of prints with this title, so the fact that your print does not match the one you found on line does not mean it is not an original. As long as it is about the right size (9 x 12) and is a lithograph, it probably is an original.

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  28. I recently bought a C&I print. The print is called "The Three Jolly Kittens" with a subtitle "At the Feast". After doing a Google search on this print, I realized it was possible that I had a reproduction. The contrasting print was called "The Three Greedy Kittens" with a subtitle "At the Feast" Secondly, the colors of the tablecloth are not the same, as well as, the liquid in the cup and lastly the bottles are labeled differently. The subject and overall design are alike; however, my print has a different title and some color variations. Could this be a popular series produced in different colors or a re-strike?

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    Replies
    1. C&I did a whole bunch of different kitten prints, some with similar but different compositions. Also, each print was hand colored and they were done over a period of years, so different coloring doesn't mean that yours is a reproduction. To know that, you have to see if it is a hand colored lithograph printed on 19th century paper.

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  29. i have a 9x12 wild turkey shooting reprinted lith by currier ives 1871 is it anything

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  30. Mike in New OrleansJune 1, 2012 at 2:36 PM

    I inherited 4 Currier and Ives lithographs. Three I have determined to be reproductions. "Champions of the River", Wooding up on the River" & "Midnight race on the Mississippi". I have a large "Midnight Race on the Mississippi" that interests me. it has "sketch of Natchez by H.D.Manning" in bottom left,"lithograph of Currier and Ives" in right corner. Published by Currier and Ives 152 Nassua St. in middle. Fine print under pic states "Entered according to Act of Congress in yr 1860 by Currier and Ives...". Looking for a clue if real or not or how else anovice can tell?...Thanks

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    Replies
    1. No original C&I print says "lithograph of Currier and Ives." Thus this must be a reproduction.

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  31. I HAVE A PRINT,,,THE ROAD SIDE MILL,,ENTRIEDACORDINGTO THE ACT OF CONGRESS IN THE YEAR 1870 BY COURIER AN IVES IN THE CLERKS OFFICE OF THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE UNITED STATES FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK...IS IT AN ORIGINAL

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    Replies
    1. No way we can tell from that information. If you go to our web site to the Currier & Ives section, we have a page which answers questions and gives clues on how you can tell.

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    2. I have a Blish style 7405& can you tell the date and value?

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  32. I have a few prints (from the 50's or 60's) of Currier & Ives on the back they all have articles of what the print itself is all about. made in U.S.A.
    Are they from a Calendar or what?

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  33. Hi Chris,I have 3 of the American homestead print that read the following along the bottom: Published by Currier & Ives,
    Entered according to Act of Congress A 1869, by Currier & Ives, in the Clerks Office of the District Court of the United States, for the Southern District of New York. 152 Nassau St. New York
    Could these be authentic? I have someone interested in them and want to offer a fair price.

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    Replies
    1. Many reproductions of the C&I prints have exactly the same printed information as the originals. The only way you can tell what you have is by size and the printing process. If you go to the Philadelphia Print Shop web site and look up our section on Currier & Ives, we give more information on how you can tell what you have.

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  34. Hi - I have what seems to be an unusual set of "Four Seasons" Currier & Ives prints. Each print is of the head and shoulders of a young lady, with each of the four ladies in a different costume. At the bottom each is titled i.e. "Summer", "Autumn", "Winter", "Spring". Also below the each picture in very small print is the line "Published according to Act of Congress of the year 1870, by Currier & Ives in the office of the Librarian of Congress at Washington". Below that is the title, then below that the line "Published by Currier & Ives 125 Nassau St. New York". All text is in capitals.

    I can't find any reference to this set on the web, searching on "four seasons" and other obvious keywords. Does the set have a standard name? Would you say it is rare or commonplace, or maybe a reproduction?

    Thanks for any info.

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    Replies
    1. This is a fairly standard set of C&I prints. In some series the firm put a series name in the title (e.g. American Homestead), but not always. There is no standard name for the series, though they are often called the Four Seasons.

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  35. A little more info after reading your website: the pictures of the girls themselves, not counting any margin, are 9" wide by 12" tall. The basic black & white pictures are made up of streams and swirls of tiny black and gray speckles. These were then evidently stencil-colored (wide swaths of color applied inexactly). I don't want to unframe them to feel of the paper, but they umm... look old...

    Thanks again for any info

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    1. From your description, these do sound like they are originals. I have not seen reproductions of this set, though such might exist. Still, I think the odds are you have originals.

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    2. Thanks for the information, it was very helpful.

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    3. I bought a print entitled "A view of New London, Connecticut from the River Road, Currier & Ives. The print is lightly colored. Under the image on the left is I Sherman 10. I can't find this print listed anywhere-do you have any information about it?

      Thank you for any info. dsg

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    4. There is no Currier print listed with this title and the name "I. Sherman" is not one that appears on any original Currier & Ives prints I have seen. I suspect you have a reproduction of a Currier & Ives print. Esp. true if "Currier & Ives" appears in the title of the print itself, as they never put their name in the titles.

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    5. Thanks for your answer. Although I may have mislead you--Currier & Ives is listed underneath the title. I didn't think it was an original, but possibly a calendar print. Since I have a summer house in New London, I couldn't not purchase it!

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  36. Hi Chris,
    Do you know when the first lithographs were transposed on ceramics or pottery? My name is Steve and I unearthed approximately 80 antique bottles in a seam of old household basements that had been buried many years prior to my discovery in the mid 1970s. These bottles were boxed up during one of my major moves in 1988 and I opened the box three weeks ago for the first time since 1988. The bottles have been traced now to the mid 1800's up to approximately mid 1905. My story is somewhat interesting in that I need clarification as to whether it is a coincidence or if these were from that timeframe. I have yet to find this item or information about them anywhere on the internet. I have two beer steins that have Currier & Ives lithographs on them. The only writing on them is, "American Homestead Summer""Currier & Ives" and "Winter in the Country - The Old Grist Mill" "Currier & Ives". I can't recall finding these Currier & Ives steins in the mid 1970's in our dig but I find it interesting that I boxed the steins in with the bottles in 1988 and the prints were originally from 1862 and 1868. I have pictures of these steins if you might like to see them.

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    Replies
    1. The images on the steins are not 19th century. At no time were C&I prints used on pottery or ceramics in the 19th century. They became popular in the 20th century and that is when they started using reproduction images of C&I prints on various things like steins, plates, etc.

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  37. Hello, we have 2 prints that seem to be nice quality reproductions of Currier & Ives lithographs. One is titled "Winter in the Country. Getting Ice" (1864), and the other is titled "Frozen Up" (1872). Both are marked "Folio #23" in the lower left corners. Both are large (18"x 13") and the second has a note attached to the back pointing out the artist is unknown and the print is "From the famous collection of Harry T. Peters, Esq., and reproduced through his courtesy." Can you tell me anything about these?

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    Replies
    1. There really isn't anything much to tell you besides what you know already. All reproductions have basically the same story--they are photomechanically made prints intended for decoration. No reproductions of C&I prints have "collectors" value. Their value is purely decorative and it just depends on how well they are made for how much they are worth. There are all sorts of different processes used, but as we do not deal with reproductions we are not really knowledgeable about that. The best thing to do with C&I reproductions, assuming you like them, is to frame them, hang them up and enjoy them.

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    2. Thanks for the quick reply. I do see now that Harry T. Peters had a big C&I collection which is now at the National Museum of American History and at the Museum of the City of New York. I'll go frame 'em this weekend and enjoy them at our cabin. Thanks, again.

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  38. Hello, I picked up a pretty picture thrifting the other day and decided to do some research. This picture's face is hard and the picture is carved in and there's color. It's Winter Country - the Old Grist Mill and has the name "Currier & Ives" in the bottom left corner. On the back, it has an old sticker from Fine arts gallery, Inc. 2 e Lancaster Ave, Ardmore PA 19003. I can't seem to find any information about hard pieces and was wondering if you could give any info. Thanks for your help!

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    Replies
    1. Currier & Ives prints have long been popular and many firms have made various types of reproductions or objects based on their images. Your picture has no real connection with the Currier & Ives firm other than the maker used their image to make it. I am sure it is nice, but it is not an original Currier & Ives.

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  39. Ive recently come across two prints that seem to meet all the requirements of an original as far as i can tell.However both prints are black and white and Im haveing a terrible time finding these prints not in color im wondering if that makes them less likely to be originals however they came out of my grandmothers basement who just passed away at age 100 1/2 , she lived in the house for just over 97 yrs and got rid of nothing. they certainlly dont look like they have been moved in many many years. as i said .....everything else seems right. the title on one is "George M Patchen, Brown Dick and Millers Damsel" in their slendid trotting contest for a purse of $500 dated 1859 the other s title iis " a Race for blood!"copyrighted 1890 (again ...i can find this image but not in black and white ???? Can you tell me any further info on black and white prints ???/ thanks so much

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    1. Your query raises a number of issues about which you should be clear. First is that the fact you cannot find a print in a particular mode does not mean a whole lot. That is, I am assuming you have primarily checked on the internet. You have to remember that C&I issued at least 8,000 prints and only a fraction of that number are ever put up on the web, especially if you consider different formats. A lot of people think that the internet contains all the information (or at least most) on prints there is, but it really only has a small fraction of the world of prints. So not finding something on the web does not really mean a whole lot.

      The second thing is that Currier & Ives often issued their prints both colored and uncolored. So the fact that you found only colored ones does not, in and of itself, mean much.

      However, that being said, I think in your case it does mean that they are reproductions. Both of the prints you mention were issued only in the large folio size. That means that their images are about 17 1/2 x 27 1/2. My bet is that your prints are considerably smaller than this. I say this because I have never seen one of the large folio C&I horse prints issued in b&w, but I have often seen reproductions of them b&w.

      Now if your prints are the right size, then they still could be originals, but my guess is that they are considerably smaller and thus reproductions.

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  40. I have two pieces of the Courie & Ives American Homestead a Winter & a Summer. They are a foil print and are in a sealed padded plastic frame. They look as though they were sealed upon thier original marketing. They have the same quote as so many have mentioned "Entered according to Act of Congress...." 152 Nassau St, NY. I have never seen any in this, what looks to be 'minted' condition. Wondering if they are anything special with being sealed.

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    Replies
    1. These are not original Currier & Ives prints as none of them are foil prints. This is some sort of reproductive series, of which there are very many. The value of any reproductive Currier & Ives print just depends on their appearance as they have only "decorative" value.

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  41. Hello um Chris Lane i have a question about a picture by Eric Sloane Quality 2483 DI Wal Red Velvet size 24 by 48

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  42. Hey Chris Happy Thanksgiving to you. i recently found 4 AMERICAN HOMESTEAD (seasons Spring,Summer,Autumn, and Winter.) They are all 4 framed and have the titles on the bottome as follows.Currier & Ives Lithograph, New York in the left hand bottom corner AMERICAN HOMESTEAD AUTUMN (the same for each of the other 3 seasons) in the middle and Museum Of The City Of New York in the bottome right hand corner.They are Black and White with little bits of color all throughout the pictures. The paper is a little thick with a grainey sort of texture to it although I dont have a magnifying glass yet to view them with do you think these are possibly origianl reproductions and are they of any value? Thank you very much, sincerely Donna

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  43. It makes sense that they are original reproductions by the Museum of City of New York, but whether a print is an "original" reproduction or a reproduction of a reproduction doesn't really matter. All reproductions have the same sort of value, which is "decorative" only. The only difference it makes is whether they are original Currier & Ives prints, done in the 19th century. Any reproduction is simply a copy. They may be nice, but their value is simply in how they look; they have no collectors value. Unfortunately, there are lots and lots of C&I reproductions, so they are not easy to sell for much at all. In general, the best thing to do is simply enjoy them for what they are, pretty pictures.

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  44. Hi Chris-
    I just came across a framed Currier and Ives in a box of things from my grandmother. In the left bottom corner beneath the picture it has in faint block letters "Published by Currier & Ives" and in the bottom far right corner it has 185 Nassau St New York. In block letters within a wide border it says Partridge Hunting. It is very old,(the frame has glass and the back is attached with tiny nails and a twisted wire to hang it) and is in good condition. Is there value to this print?

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    1. oops- I meant "Partridge Shooting"-

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  45. I have a print by N. Currier titled "Charlotte. of a lady seated.
    Address below is 2 Spruce St. NY NY
    Wondering what period and possible value?

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  46. At a recent estate sale, I picked up a set of Currier & Ives "prints." Two were in a folder made from wood pulp paper, labeled "Currier & Ives," and there was a note included: "Here are your Currier & Ives prints which we know you will find most decorative in your home. These prints have been carefully reproduced from the originals..." The others were framed. Yesterday, I found another set in a shop, also in a Currier & Ives folder. A similar note was enclosed, but it said that the prints were made from the "original lithographs." So, are both sets reproductions? All appear to be on wood pulp paper. I scanned one and magnified it, and it doesn't have symmetrical pixilation like the example on the other page. If they are just reproductions, do you know which publishing company distributed prints in a folder like this, with the note inside? (Currier & Ives is the only publisher listed on the print itself.)

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    1. Yes, both sets are reproductions. C&I prints were never issues in portfolios, tubes, envelopes or books. There are, however, lots of reproductions issued in all these formats. As to which company made those, I cannot say. There have probably been in the mid-hundreds of different companies who made C&I reproductions. No one has kept track of these and really it doesn't matter. The value of all C&I reproductions is "decorative." That is, they are worth what they look like as decorative items. They have no collector value.

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  47. Hi, my name is Chris and I have 4 mugs which 2 are (Winter in the country “The old Grist Mill" From a lithographic print by Currier & Ives glass mugs) and 2 more that say (The old homestead in winter From a lithographic print by Currier & Ives glass mugs. I found them at an estate sale and I would so appreciate, and admire your expertise on how much they could be worth and the history about them. I appreciate you taking time out to check on this for I have checked on the Internet and just can’t get anywhere and I am hoping that maybe you could help me on this issue for I would be so grateful. My email address chrisbowdoin@yahoo.com I can also send some pics if necessary. Thanks so much again for your time, Chris

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    1. I have written above a number of times, though I suppose it doesn't hurt to say it again, but anything that is not a print is simply some sort of reproduction of a Currier & Ives. All reproductions, of any sort, are just that and they do not have any particular value from them copying Currier & Ives images. Your mugs may be nice, but their value is simply based on being mugs with pretty pictures on them. They have no collector value beyond that.

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  48. In the list of comments I do not see any referring to civil war prints. Are these more rare. Also, were these prints ever folded originally because the one I have you can see a trace of folding in center. Also, the face of character in corner seems slightly different in style than others. Title is The Storming of Fort Donelson. Thank you

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    1. Civil War prints are no more rare than any of their topics. As the firm issued about 8,000 prints, there are many types of their prints which are not mentioned above.

      The C&I prints were never issued folded. That doesn't mean that yours might not have been folded later, but as these prints were often reproduced in books, it is likely your print is a reproduction.

      I am not sure what you mean by your last comment, but I suspect you are talking about the face of General Grant, which was added based on a photograph, rather than the hand-drawn faces of all the other soldiers.

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  49. if a currier and ives print is copyrighted does that make it a reproduction? thanks

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  50. No. Many of their prints were copyrighted.

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  51. We have a framed print titled "Clipper Ship Flying Cloud". Image itself is 16 3/8" x 24" with title below, ships dimensions listed on left side and other specs on right side of title. Along the bottom of the print are small block text. At left is "E Brown, JR. DEL." Centered is "Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1852, by N. Currier in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Souther District of N.Y.". At right is "LITH BY N. CURRIER"

    Trying to figure out whether this is an original. It is in a black stained oak frame with a yellowed paper backing that labeled 'Max Williams, 538 Madison Avenue, New York".

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  52. This is almost certainly a restrike of this print. Max Williams purchased six of the large folio clipper ship stones and reprinted the images. As your frame is labeled as being from that business, it is highly likely to be one of these restrikes.

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  53. Thanks so much for the info. Would be interested in learning more about the 'restrike' series that Max Williams produced. Would especially like to know what year it may have been reproduced, and how different it may be from an original. Are there any written resources that document Max Williams? Also curious how abundant these large folio Clipper Ship prints are, as might be interested in acquiring. A sister ship.

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  54. Not sure of the date, though 20th century. The difference is basically the paper (which is later) and the quality (which is not as good). They are "around," but not super common. A look on the internet or keeping an eye at auction might very well find you a companion.

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  55. I have 2 very old prints would like to get a price on them .......

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  56. I was researching whether a set of prints I bought long ago were originals when I came across your site. You have to be the most patient man in the print world: answering again and again the same questions when it's clear that posters haven't read through your previous answers. I kept on waiting for you to say something along the lines of, "Please read the previous 25 questions/answers carefully, then read them again, then one time after that. If you still think you may have original C&I prints after that, you may ask me a question!"

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    1. Thanks for the comment. You are right to the extent I really wish people would read my earlier replies, but I guess that is asking too much! In any case, I do love prints and love to help people with print questions, so on we go... Thanks for reading!

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  57. I have 2 prints. Inside the margins each print measures approx. 10" by 16"

    The only printed text is Currier & Ives bottom left just below the printed picture, and Winter Morning, centered below the printed picture.

    The other is similar, Currier & Ives, bottom left and A Home in the Wilderness centered.

    Each is on a fibre paper, appears to be hand colored. Any clues as to what these are?

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  58. I mean could these be reproductions because they do not have an address or any other text? Thank you.

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    1. These are indeed reproductions. Any prints which just have "Currier & Ives" as an imprint are definitely reproductions.

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    2. Currier & Ives is not the only text, each also has a title centered in the margin. What it does not have is a New York street address or an old-style copyright notice - "entered according to Act of Congress" and a date. I understood the latter two to not always be on the prints. Thank you.

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    3. What I said was "as an imprint," which is the information relative to printmakers, place, date, etc. The title is not part of the imprint. As I said, if the only imprint is "Currier & Ives" the print is a reproduction.

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  59. I have the American Homested Winter, Spring, Summer and Autum by Currier & Ives with the following information Published by Currier & Ives, Entered according to the act of congress , a year of 1836 or 1886 can not be sure. In New York, 125 Nassau ST, New York, 1886. I am trying to find someone to take a look at them to see what I really have. I am not sure where or when I get go Prin, but i think i picked them up at a thrift shop in VA a few years ago. Any help would be appreciated.

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  60. Hi Mr.Lane
    I have Two Horse Racing Lithographs That Has Academy Arts With The Address On Them.
    The Imfor gives The Style For both #8253
    Are They Qriginals Or Reproductions And When Were They Don't ( The Year)
    Thanks A Bunch
    Russ Scalf

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    Replies
    1. These are reproductions. As we do not deal with reproductions, we are not familiar with when they would have been made.

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  61. I have a picture that says Currier & Ives on it and it is titled The four seasons of life. Childhood. It does not seem to fit the mold for the lithographs I have seen. For one it is only 4 x 3.5. I is printed with black and only has red coloring. It is very old, and it has glass over it with a black painted frame. Can anyone tell me anything about this picture?

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    1. This is a reproduction. There are literally hundreds of different reproductions of this popular scene. Beyond that, there is really nothing more we can tell you as there are no records on all the companies which made these prints nor when they were done.

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  62. I have two pieces. One is the winters road and the other the gist. They are burnt etched in some kind of plastic. They look well done. Do you know anything about them?

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  63. Never mind I see another person had the same question. They listed it as a carving instead of a etching.

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  64. What can you tell me about a set of 8 6x8 currier and ives prints on linen?

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    1. As explained in the blog, Currier & Ives issued only prints on paper. Any other use of their images, on wood, plastic, linen or whatever, is simply another company using their images to make something to sell to the public. Such items have been made since the beginning of the 20th century and are still made today.

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  65. Hi
    We have a print from Currier & Ives that my great grandphater probably brought home to Norway from NY while sailing the sea.

    The print is dated 1876 and shows the building to The equitable life assuance society of the united states. NO 120 Broadway. Bird wiew Manhattan, a very detailed and nice wiew.

    The full title is:

    The city of New York showing the building of
    the equitable life assurance society of the united states
    No 120 Broadway

    copyright 1876. Currier&Ives N.Y. (This at the bottom right in the picture)

    Size of the print is 54/85 cm or 21,2/33,3 inches measured only the picture itselves and not the margins around. There are no damages on the picture itselves, but there is a crack on the bottom margin on the white area. Also the print has not been framed in glass and the colours seems to have darkened.

    We have looked up to try to verify if it is an original or not, and it might be an original. The paper thickness seems right according to descriptions of an original. And when we look closely with a magnifying glass the colours painted on the buildings seems original and not copy accoring to descriprion of an original.

    The picutre is framed in a wooden frame with wood behind. It seems like it has been like this from the start as everything is very old.

    Just wonder if this is a common picture from C&I as I do not find much about is. Also if you have any story around it would be fun and interesting. It is a very nice and big print with a lot of details from that century and a beautiful bird wiew over Manhattan.

    Thanks a lot fo your help!
    Best regards
    Hege
    Bergen, Norway

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    1. The size sounds right and so there is no reason to think that this is not an original. This is a typical C&I print; not particularly common nor particularly uncommon. It is listed in the Conningham book as #113. It is a very nice image with good detail of New York. Interestingly, there is a very similar image with the same title that is slightly larger. These prints were probably commissioned by the Life Assurance Society to use as advertising.

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    2. Hi and thanks for a very quick answer. And thanks for information. Wonder if it is possible to make a copy of this picture for my very good friend that has done us great favour and I know love this picture. I am afraid the picture will get destroyed by the light from the copy machine or am I just a bit too hysterical :).

      Also, I have seen on the web similar pictures stated as original but date is 1883 or after the one we have from 1876. A bit confused with the definition of original :). How many of the same image is original from this print?

      Also, the print is a bit dark. I have seen some restaurations of this, but will you recommend this kind of retauration and how is it done? Is it any place in Norway I can get this done without being afraid it will be broken?

      Brgs
      Hege

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    3. There is no reason you should not make a copy of the print. Yes, light can harm prints, but only prolonged exposure.

      The date on the print should be 1876. There are other similar views of NYC from different dates, but not one, I believe, with this exact title. As to how many examples of this image were printed, no one knows, but C&I always ran off thousands of their prints.

      Restoration of a print like this can add to its value and certainly make it more attractive. We do not know any restoration companies in Norway. Sorry.

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  66. I have 3 framed Currier & Ives scenes but they are on a gold (metallic) paper....not sure if these are reproductions by some other company or did C&I print these lithographs on this type of paper?

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    1. C&I did not do prints like that. You have reproductions.

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  67. Hi I have 2 prints the blood race and over the course of the union they are numbered, addressed, and also have the Donald art co. Is there any value?

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    1. These are reproductions and have only what we call "decorative" value.

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  68. Hi I have a Winter in the country the old grist mill currier and ives is a silver and gold plate. In reverse "the Danbury mint 1974 limited edition of 1700 handcrafted by Reed and Barton in its exclusive Damascene process 24 kt gold and copper on soild sterling silver nº 283 ¡do you can explain me how i look one like it in internet o maybe a catalog, somehow...thankyou very much

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    1. This is not an original Currier & Ives. There are lots of different companies who have used the C&I images over time and that is what you have. I do not know of any place that has information on this particular copy.

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  69. I have 2 prints from Dufex prints. One has a Ref # 152762 and the other one Ref # 152748. I have them for over 20 years. Can you tell me if there are originals and if they have a collectors value?

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    1. They ae not originals. They have only "decorative" value.

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  70. I just purchased small folio of The Old Oaken Bucket, C & I print. Trying to determine if it's orig. I have the Conningham book and dimensions are correct. It is unframed and my 2 questions are 1) I don't see an imprint in the paper from the lithographing stone ??? and 2) the hand coloring is not exactly the same as some other "Old Oaken Buckets" listed as originals. I would truly appreciate info on these 2 questions. I'm a neophyte C & I buyer trying to learn the ins and outs. Thanks! Gayle in San Diego

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  71. There is no imprint left by a lithographic stone. Only intaglio prints (such as engravings) have a plate mark. The coloring was done by hand and these prints were issued over time, so there is always a variation in coloring. Of course, that doesn't mean it is an original, nor that the color is original, but variation in the color does not mean it is a reproduction.

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    1. Color me grateful...THANKS for those 2 answers which are very important to me.
      Gratefully, Gayle

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  72. Should I keep my 1952 "Courier & Ives' America" book intact, or cut the pages out and frame the pictures individually? (The pages of the book are in good condition (no tears or stains) but the book cover shows some wear and the book jacket is worn and torn in half.
    We're considering framing all the pics, keeping our favorites and selling the rest. Good or bad idea?

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    1. Note that the pictures in this book are reproductions. As such, their only value is decorative. There is really no way you could sell any of those pictures for any significant value. Also, the book is a nice one, but readily available on the market, so it too does not have a lot of value. So the question you ask really does not have an answer based on finances.

      So the question is whether you should keep a book in tact of cut it up for the pictures. In general I do not like to see books taken apart, but on the other hand your book is fairly common so it isn't really that bad a thing to do if you will enjoy the pictures you frame from it. They are nice images and if that will bring you more pleasure, I do not see why this isn't something that makes sense to do.

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    2. Thank you for your input. I agree it feels wrong to cut up a book. In book form we will rarely get to see our favorite pictures, while framed we could enjoy them all the time. We'll mull it over before deciding. Thanks again.

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  73. Hi Chris, my sister-in-law purchased two prints years ago and we would appreciate your opinion if they are originals. The American Homestead Summer has the following: Entered according to act of Congress AD 1869, by currier and Ives, in the clerks office of the district court of the United States for the Southern District of New York. In the far corner:158 Nassau ST NY - The second print: The River Side - in the left hand corner PUBO BY CURRIER & IVES and in the right corner the address: 152 Nassau ST N Y. The prints appear to be professionally framed. Any information would be appreciated.

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    1. The one that says "PUBO BY CURRIER & IVES" is a reproduction, as their prints never had this particular text. For the other there is no way I can tell you from the info you provided. How you can tell what you have is explained, to the best extent we can do so, on our web site.

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  74. I have what looks like a c1792 (The Express Train) in mirror image. The description matches C1793, except there are only 6 cars instead of 7. Is it possible they reversed the image in some way, or is is just a mistake in Conninghams's 1793 description?

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    1. Conningham did make mistakes and I have not come across a C:1793 to know if it does have 6 or 7 cars. My guess is that rather than Conningham making a mistake either i) there is a variant not noted by Conningham or ii) yours might be some sort of reproduction. Without seeing it in person I cannot really say but all those possibilities are at least in play.

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  75. Hi Chris, I have the four American Homestead prints- Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter, all framed. Each has some color but are not nearly as highly colored as some of the originals I've seen on your site, and some of the parts do not appear to be colored at all although original prints show color on these parts. Does this mean that they could not be originals? They are on thicker somewhat yellow-aged grainy paper and have all of the information stated exactly like the originals have on the bottom. Their sizes are about 5 1/2" by a bit less than 7 1/2".

    Thanks!

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  76. Meant to add that the sizes stated above are the entire piece of paper, and not merely the picture part. The picture part of each paper is about 3.75" by 6".

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    1. These are much too small to be originals. They are some sort of reproduction

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  77. I've got a picture called "renaissance scenes" style 6516. Gold/velvet finish. 16x20. It was my grandpa's. Just want to know the history behind it. How old it is and if it's worth anything. Thanks

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  78. I have a Currier and Ives lithograph titled Frankie and Tip on bottom it says New York published by Currier and Ives 125 Nassau St. Is it original ? What might value be?

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  79. I have 2 Currier & Ives that I can't seem to find any information on them..One is The Angel Gabriel and the other is The Crucifixion..Both are published by Currier & Ives and has the address of 115 Nassau st, New York on them...any information would be appreciated

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