Wednesday, May 19, 2010

John Trumbull's prints of the American Revolution

John Trumbull’s “Death of General Warren at the Battle of Bunker’s Hill” is one of the most famous pictures of American history, an iconic image. In this dramatic scene, the British forces are shown cresting the last defenses of the rebels, who continue to fight bravely. Maj. Gen. Joseph Warren is seen lying mortally wounded, while one of his companions and British officer Maj. John Small restrain a ‘lobster back’ from bayoneting him. This image has appeared in many different formats since Trumbull first painted it in 1785-86, including in numerous prints issued for over two centuries. It is interesting that the publication of a print of this image was actually part of John Trumbull’s intent from the very beginning.

Trumbull, son of the Governor of Connecticut, was uniquely qualified to paint scenes of the American Revolution, as he served in the Continental army during the war and knew first-hand the characteristics of the American and British armies and the nature of this conflict. He also knew many of the participants of the Revolution and so was able to hear first-hand those events he did not himself participate in. During the battle of Bunker’s Hill, Trumbull was stationed in Roxbury, on the far side of Boston from Charlestown, whence he could hear the sounds of the battle.

Trumbull decided as a young man that he wanted to pursue a career as an artist and late in the war he sailed to England to study under Benjamin West, an American who had established himself so well there that he was appointed by King George III as historical painter to the court. At the time, historical painting was considered one of the highest forms of art, but most historical paintings showed mythological, sacred or classical history, and when contemporary events were depicted, the participants were shown in classical dress. West, had in 1770, broken with this tradition by painting the “Death of General Wolfe” with its participants in contemporary uniforms and setting.

There was some controversy over this, but West continued this course with further “modern” history paintings of “The Battle of La Hogue” and “Penn’s Treaty with the Indians.” West encouraged his pupil John Trumbull—-and possibly was even the originator of the idea—-to undertake a series of such painting on the history of the United States. West could not undertake this on his own because of his ties to the King, who would not have taken kindly to his court painter glorifying the recent victory of the Americans over the British.

In 1784, Trumbull took up this project as his main artistic ambition. He began with a painting of “The Death of General Warren at Battle of Bunker’s Hill” in the fall of 1785, finishing it the follow March. This canvas was called by Benjamin West “the best picture of a modern battle that has been painted” and it was well received by those who viewed it in West’s studio. Trumbull had absorbed the style and form of West’s work, but added to this his own personal knowledge of the individuals and the military dress, weapons and events of the time.

Trumbull was worried about the prospects of selling his American historical paintings, for not only would the subject likely rule out any English buyers, but there were in general less patrons who would purchase an historical painting than a personal portrait. To help with the financial situation, West encouraged Trumbull to have the paintings made into prints, for there was a better likelihood he would make money by selling prints than just from the paintings. West told Trumbull that West's painting of “The Battle of La Hogue” sold for only 500 guineas, but that the sale of prints, at one guinea each, had generated three times that amount. Thus from the start, Trumbull intended to have his American historical paintings made into prints, beginning with the first two canvases he was working on, the painting of the battle of Bunker Hill and one showing the death of General Montgomery at Quebec.

Through West, Trumbull met Antonio di Poggi, an artist and print publisher, who agreed to publish the prints for a share of the profits. They decided to look in Paris for an engraver, as no British engraver would dare to do the work on this subject matter. They searched through the summer and early fall of 1786 in Paris and then Frankfurt, with no success. When Trumbull returned to London in October 1786, Poggi kept the paintings to continue to look for an engraver. Poggi finally found Johann Gotthard von Müller, an engraver from Stuttgart, who agreed in July 1788 to undertake the engraving of Trumbull’s Bunker Hill.

In 1789, Trumbull sailed to America to work on promoting the sale of his forthcoming prints. At this stage the engraving by Müller was not progressing very fast. Trumbull tried to market his prints when he arrived and awaited proofs, which Poggi promised to send as soon as they were pulled, to show potential subscribers. In 1795, Trumbull visited Stuttgart and was satisfied with the progress Müller was making. Finally in July 1797, Trumbull heard from Müller that the plate was finished.

Shortly after that, the engraving of the “Death of Montgomery in the Attack on Quebec,” which had been assigned to other engravers, was also finished. Unfortunately, the sale of subscriptions for these prints did not go very well for Trumbull, covering only about three quarters of the cost of their production. This was likely primarily the result of the long delay between the original conception and its fruition, as by the end of the eighteenth century large patriotic engravings of the heroics of the Revolution were not in demand, as they likely would have been a decade earlier. The lack of financial success ended Trumbull’s plan to produce an entire series of engravings of the War of Independence.

Trumbull had, however, been working on a painting of the Declaration of Independence, for which he had spent much effort in making accurate likenesses of the participants. At the end of 1817, Trumbull decided to try again with the production of a print of this historical subject. Initially, he agreed to hire the English engraver James Heath, telling James Madison that he did not believe an American engraver had the experience or skill to produce a work of art of this magnitude. There was, however, something of an outcry about using a European engraver for this quintessential American subject, so Trumbull reconsidered and hired Asher B. Durand, the most accomplished American engraver of the period, to do the work.

The resulting print is a terrific example of both Trumbull’s art and Durand’s skill. However, Trumbull still had problems getting subscribers, even though he had already signed up the then four living Presidents—-Adams, Jefferson, Madison and Monroe. By the time the print was published in 1823, Trumbull had sold only about 275 subscriptions, just about breaking even.

These three prints, the Battle of Bunker Hill, Death of Montgomery, and Declaration of Independence, are among the most desirable American historical prints ever made. They are quite rare, but do come on the market from time to time. Because Trumbull's images are so iconographic, they have appeared in many other prints over the years, including some of considerable quality and some that are merely decorative. In the next blog I will talk about one print that is of particular interest and something of a puzzle.

66 comments:

  1. I recently purchased a print of Trumbull's "Declaration of Independence." It is in black and white and obviously very old. There are marks where the resin from the wood in the back of the frame has come through on to the mat. The interesting thing about this is the sketches under the picture of each of the people in the picture. Under the sketches are the signatures of the signers. The sketches are numbered and appear to have been done in black ink. I assume that these are what you have referred to as "remarques" Is this an unusual print? I haven't found anything like it on line.

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  2. I believe you have the Ormsby engraving of the Trumbull image. The description of that print follows, so see if this matches your print. This is, like any print of the 19th century, not common, but also not paritcularly rare.

    John Trumbull. “Declaration of Independence of the United States of America. July 4th 1776.” New York: W.L. Ormsby, ca. 1830. 20 1/4 x 30 1/4. Engraving by “W. L. Ormsby after Durand.”

    In 1823, Trumbull had his canvas of the Declaration of Independence made into a print by the American engraver Asher B. Durand. This became one of the most popular American patriotic scenes, leading to a number of other versions in different sizes. This is the finest of the derivative images, engraved by Waterman Lilly Ormsby (1809-1883). Ormsby was a New York engraver who was famous for founding the Continental Bank Note Company of New York. He invented a ruling machine, a transfer press, and a "grammagraph," according to Stauffer a device for engraving directly on steel from medals and medallions. This print, approximately the size of Durand's original is an fine example of Ormsby's work with the addition of a delicate and complete key etched at the bottom margin showing the heads and names of all the participants.

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  3. DEAR MR.LANE, I HAVE A BEAUTIFULLY COLORED LITHO OF TRUMBULL'S "DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE" MARKED "GH 406 LITHO IN U.S.A." IT IS IN GOOD CONDITION WITH A FEW SLIGHT TEARS AT THE BOTTOM AND IS ALSO WATERMARKED. THE SIZE IS 11 3/4" BY 9." IT APPEARS TO BE VERY OLD. IT HAS NO MARKINGS AT THE BOTTOM EXCEPT THOSE NOTED ABOVE AND THEY ARE IN THE LOWER LEFT CORNER.

    CAN YOU TELL ME ANYTHING ABOUT THIS LITHO SUCH AS APPROXIMATE DATE OF PRINTING AND ALSO THE MAKER. ALSO, IF LITHOS LIKE THIS HAVE ANY VALUE.

    I HAVE A VERY HARD TIME UNDERSTANDING WHAT LITHOS ARE AND HOW THEY DIFFER FROM PRINTS. I WOULD GREATLY APPRECIATE ANY HELP YOU CAN GIVE ME ABOUT THIS.

    THANK YOU VERY MUCH, SINCERELY, JOE

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  4. Any print that says "Litho in U.S.A." is from the 20th century or later. From what you say, I would guess your print is from the middle of the century, maybe 1940-70. All such prints have only what we call 'decorative' value, as explained in my blog about decorative values.

    As for what lithographs are, I have a whole series of blogs about different print processes, which you should read. If you use the lables on the left of the blog and choose "What is a print" you can read all about lithographs and other types of prints.

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  5. Hello. I have an old Trumbull print, in its original frame I believe, of the "Sortie at Gibraltar". It is still packed away from a move, so I cannot check the exact date, but it is 1788 or close to that date, as I recall. I have checked a few sources through the years and don't often see the Gibraltar painting or prints. Was this a lesser known Trumbull painting/print? I was told that the glass is "poured glass". Any information would be much appreciated. Thank you.

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  6. Yes, it is a lesser known Trumbull print, mainly because it is not an American subject. It is as wonderful a print as his others, but the subject matter is not as popular nor as well known.

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  7. Hello,
    I have a print black &white of the declaration of independence supplement to " Petersons magazine. centennial gift for 1876 engraved & printed by the IIIMAN BROTHERS CAN YOU TELL ME OF THE VALUE OR IF THIS IS A VALUE ? THANKS MUCH

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  8. sorry it is a print by Trumbull

    thanks again

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  9. This is a late 19th century copy of the Trumbull image that has only "decorative" value. These are nice prints, but really are not collectors prints.

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  10. Hi, I have a small engraving of Trumbull's Declaration of Independence published by The American Bank Note Company, New York. The plate size measures about 3" x 5 7/8". Do you know when this was published. Is it collectible?

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  11. I have a 3" x 5 7/8" version of Trumbull's engraving Declaration of Independence by The American Bank Note Co., NY. When was this published?

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  12. Dear Mr. Lane,

    I have a black/white engraving print of Mr. Trumbull's "The Declaration of Independence". The visible measurements are approximately 29 in. x 15. There is a very old looking brown water damaged matt but no water damage to print that I can see. The frame is a very heavy but fragile looking tiger oak measuring 38in. x 24 and has very old glass I was told. I was also told that the print may be "floating."

    Can you give me any information about the print based on this info.? Should I take it to a professional and have it taken out to see if there is more info on it or have it reframed or glassed? I am a bit afraid it might damage if the wrong person handled it It has a bit of wear but the frame and matt complement it very well. I also don't know if it is worth having it restored or the cost to do so.

    Thank you for providing this blog and help.

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  13. Just from this information I cannot tell you what you have. There are lots of old prints of this topic and also lots of reproductions. I'd have to see the print in person or there would have to be some printmaker information at the bottom of the print.

    I would agree that it might be worth taking out and I would have a professional do it. It isn't that difficult at thing, but you need someone who knows what they are doing. Good luck!

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  14. Dear Mr. Lane,
    I have an (7 X 5) American Bank Note engraving of Trumbull's Declaration of Independence. My grandmother said it has been in our family since it was new from around 1870's. Can you tell me if this is the right era and if it holds any value?

    Thank You, Chris Collins

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  15. There are hundreds of 19th century copies of Trumbull's paintings. They all have some value as they are old and the image is terrific. However, most of them have only what we call "decorative" value. Your engraving, which certainly could be from the 1870s, falls within the decorative category.

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  16. I have a engraving from W.L. Ormsby of christ weeping over jerusalem! Can u tell me anything about what I have ? It looks very old and how do I have it looked at

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  17. Ormsby was a well known American engraver of separately issued prints in the first half of the nineteenth century. A number of publishers hired him to engrave their prints and what you have is such an example. These prints were intended for the educated classes to hang in their homes for decoration. Religious subjects like yours were quite popular.

    Not sure what you mean by having it looked at, but you can always take it to an good antique dealer who could probably at least tell you if it is an original. I suspect it is, as this is not the type of print which was usually reproduced.

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  18. Mr Lane

    I have a print labeled "The Battle at Bunker's-Hill Near Boston". At the lower left of the print it identifies the painter John Trmbull Esqr, in the middle it has Facsimile Reproduction M F Tobin 299 Broadway New York and in the bottom left it has Engraved by J G Miiller or Muller. Also to the left of the print title "The Battle there is a printed waist up figure of a british soldier. The frame is wooden and looks old as does the glass. I acquired this from my fathers estate. He had been a antique collector/seller when I was young. I have been looking for a long time to find out when it was printed, as far as I can tell 1880-1890's.I cannot find any concrete evidence on M F Tobin which shows when his company printed this. It is awesome looking.Can you tell me anything about the age and possibly the value of this print. I am 47 years old and my dad had always had this in his family room, so I know its older than me.Thank you for your time. Brent

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  19. First off, I have to tell you that we do not deal with nor know much about reproductions of any sort. I do not know when Tobin worked, but to use the term "facsimile reproduction" sounds like early 20th century rather than nineteenth.

    The second thing is that age of reproductions really doesn't matter. The value of reproductions is in what they look like. That is, they have only "decorative' value. An old reproduction that is not attractive has little value, and one made last year that is highly decorative will have more value.

    So, my guess is your print is probably 1910-30 and it will have "decorative" value, which I explain elsewhere in this blog.

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  20. I have an engraving of Turnbull's "Declaration of Independence July 4, 1776"...It says engraved by W L Ormsby after Durand and it also says Proof. Does this enhance the value of this engraving more than the others? Thank you.

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  21. No really. I wrote an earlier blog specifically on the topic of "proof" prints like this, which you can find if you do a search for "proof".

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  22. I have the signature of John Trumbull promising to pay $600 from day signed (10-17-1830) to Wilkes, Esq. Can you shed any light on this...any value?

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  23. In the far left corner, as facing the print, is an American soldier with a thigh wound. He is Lt. Col. Moses Parker, an ancestor of mine.How cool is it to have had an ancestor painted by John Trumbull? Parker later died of the wound while in British custody. Three more of his brothers and numerous cousins were also involved in the Revolution.
    Thanks for all the information about Trumbull.
    Betty Parker Dove of Michigan

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  24. I have a print of the Battle of Bunker Hill-Near Boston. Image area is approx. 19 3/8 x 29 inches. It has a "Good to be Sure, Better to be Insured, Best to be insured in the Hartford fire and accident Indemnity company stamp/sticker on back 3x. It has type written left corner front, painted by John Trumbull, Esq. it ripped coming out of the frame because the glass broke. It was in an old frame. I got it from an antique dealer located in Vernon, NJ. Can you tell me anything about it? Thanks.

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  25. I have a lithograph of Washington, Lincoln and the Declaration of independence, all 3 framed in a very old frame. On the back of the frame it states Trumbles name and said it was framed at the Phlidelphia Print Shop.
    This was given to me in 1975 from a 95 year old friend, her items were stored in barrells, not boxes, she had Tiffany lamps and lots of antiques. How can I find out if these are original.

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  26. There are some posts in this blog that might help or you can visit the Philadelphia Print Shop online reference library where this sort of question is discussed. And, of course, you can take them in to show someone who is an expert.

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  27. Hello Chris
    Thank you for your continued expertise on antique prints. Recently I purchased an engraving of Trumbull's Battle of Bunkershill that is titled in German in the border. Would you please lend some insight into the age and scarcity of this version of the print? It is similar in size to the Ormsby's version. Thank you for your time on this query.
    Best Regards, Eddie

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  28. There could be a number of prints of this scene titled in German, as it is one of the most famous historical images world-wide. However, it could be:

    John Trumbull. “Die Schlacht von Bunker-Hill.” Hildburghousen, Germany: Kunstanst des Bibl. Inst., 1834-63. 19 1/2 x 29 1/2. Engraving by G. Nordheim. This engraving was made as a premium for subscribers to a world view book entitled Meyer’s Universum published in Hildburghhausen, Germany and New York from 1834 to 1863.

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  29. Chris

    Thank you for your insight.

    Mine is an uncut sheet with the print stamp impression line intact -- it measures 31.5" x just over 38.5". It is entitled "Die Schlacht von Bunker-Hill" -- below that it states Verlag v C.B. Griesbach in Gera. Above the title it reads, Druck v Thielicke, Stuttg. and on the right side below the image it states G. Nordheim, SC. The actual image is 19.5"x 29.5". The condition is very good with limited foxing in the border areas and no creases -- is this he second edition after the English 1st? Would you give me an approximate value of this engraving?

    Best Regards,
    Eddie

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  30. That is the print I described. This is not a second edition as it is a completely different print. Many other publishers copied Trumbull's work. This is also not a particularly early example (it was done 1834 at the earliest). It is, though, a nice print that has "moderate" value.

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    1. I also have this print I'n very good condition. It is I'n an old tiger oak frame It says Die Schlacht Von Bunker Hill. Above that it says Druck v W Thielicke. Stuttg on bottom right it says G.Nordheim SC3. What do you mean by moderate value? We found this I'n a pile of garbage outside a home for sale, probably 20 yrs ago. At that time, a college art dept told us the frame was original, and could be worth $5,000. Then asked us to donate it. We had it "reframed " to preserve and, As Trumball planned, we hung it above fireplace mantle I'n our dining room, where it has been ever since. Any further info would be appreciated. Thanks

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    2. Not sure what more information you want other than a value. We do not give out values as we are professional appraisers, but you can read what "moderate" means at www.philaprintshop.com/ballpark.html Note that the frame, even if original would not be worth anywhere close to $5,000 Glad yo have had it properly framed. It is a very nice print which it sounds like you are appropriately enjoying.

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  31. Hi Chris I hope you can help me out I found an old black and white canvas John Trumball painting of the signing of the declaration of independence it was hidden behind another painting, it in great condition and has Chicago printed in the right bottom corner, could you give me any info on it and its value...thanx

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  32. Chris, I have what appears to be a colored french Lithograph of Trumbulls Signing of the Declaration of Independence measuring 26 x 35 inches in the what appears to be the original walnut frame (with gilded interior border) with original bubbled glass. It is completely in French, here is a little:
    "et ches BanceF et Schroth, rue du Mail, 5", "Paris, Public par Jezet et par Thre Vibert F. Diteurs de Lancry, 7". Can you tell me anything about this Litho? Thanks in advance. Daren

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    1. Sorry, but I am not familiar with this variant of the print. As noted, there are lots of copies of Trumbull's work, from the early 19th century on. Without seeing this one, I really cannot tell you about it. Sorry.

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  33. Hello. I have a large copy of the Battle of Bunker Hill, (about 2'X3", framed) published by G. Nordheim. It was formerly owned by Col. Chichester de Windt Crookshank, (1868-1958) who was a member of the British Parliament, and who published a book in the 1920's on historical military prints. My print (according to a hand written note and a Times of London photo, pasted onto the back) was shown in an exhibition had by Crookshank in 1931, at the Guildhall Art gallery in London. At the bottom of the engraving (the border of which may have been cut down) are the words: "Praemie zu Meyers Universum". Any idea when this German-made print was made?

    -Gunnar

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    1. This was a premium print issued to subscribers of Meyer's Universum. That publication came out in the middle of the nineteenth century (ca. 1850-55 if I remember right).

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  34. Chris, I have (I am pretty sure) the key for Durand's declaration signing circa 1820ish. Do I need to insure this or just enjoy its age and the conversations it brings up?

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    1. It really does not have much value, except to someone with the print and no key. Enjoy it and don't worry about value.

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  35. Chris, I was VERY lucky to come across an original print of the Declaration of Independence engraved by A B Durand. The condition is excellent, as it has been in a frame for the past 60 years. We would like to get the print restored and the frame redone, as there is some dust collecting on the print, but all in all, it's in very good condition. Can you tell me how many of these are still around, and what the value is? Really happy to have this.

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    1. Also, what is the "key" that people are talking about?

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    2. This is a great print and should be preserved! You should really have the print treated (at least deacidification) by a professional and then have it put back into a frame (old or new one) to "museum standards." The conservation will stabilize the print and then the proper framing will preserve it. No one knows exactly how many of these are around, but if I had to guess I would say maybe about 300 or so still around in good shape (that is really a guess). In terms of value, we are professional appraisers, so it is not fair to your clients to give values without charging. However, I can tell you it does have "significant" value.

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    3. There is a key which gives the identities of the figures. This was sometimes (though not always) sold with the print itself. They turn up sometimes with the print, but they also turn up from time to time by themselves.

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    4. Chris - appreciate the fast response! I just dropped it off at the Philadelphia Print Shop about an hour ago, and they are starting the process you recommend above. They have my number and my email at the store, so please feel free to reach out to me with any recommendations about the process. They told me that it was in very good shape, with a small problem due to silverfish at the top of the picture. I am trying to figure out if I should have someone fix that, but we are starting the conservation process now. I will send information when complete.

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  36. Hi Chris, First, thank you for providing all of this great information! Second, I'm hoping you can give me a little guidance about my Trumbull Declaration of Independence. The engraver was J.F.E. Prud'Homme and there is a key in the frame with it. I would like to get it reframed. Is this worth getting appraised and insured? Should I do that before the framing? This was part of my grandfather's LARGE American history collection. He passed last year and we are deciding what to keep and what to donate to museums, libraries, etc., which would have made him happy to share his collection with others. Thanks in advance for any help you can provide! Jen

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    1. This is a nice example of the Trumbull image and it is very nice that it has the key. This is, however, a later and smaller version (compared to the first version) and so it really does not have enough value to warrant an appraisal nor special insurance. This does not mean it is not a nice engraving, but its value is what we call "moderate." It is worth reframing and enjoying, but not I think spending the money on an appraisal. Nice that you plan to donate some of his prints!

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  37. Thank you for such a quick response!
    I have always loved this one, so I am going to reframe it and hang it in the house where I can enjoy it!
    I also have a print of the Declaration itself with all the signature, oval shaped and surrounded by images and decorative engravings. It is labeled as engraved and published by J.C. Burns, 48 Franklin St, NY. I need stronger glasses to read the rest of it, but could see A.D. 1856. Ever heard of it?

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  38. AnonymousJanuary 12, 2015 at 6:37 PM
    Hi Sir, my mother came across a painting of The Battle of Bunkers Hill. There is a card taped to the back that reads John Trumball American 1756-1843, Oil on Canvas, 25x34, Yale University of Art Gallery, New Haven
    I know nothing, what can you tell me?

    Reply

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  39. Hello, I have had the Declaration of Independence by JFE Prud-Homme, painted by John Trumbell Esquire for many years now and was wondering if it had any value.
    Thanks,
    Dan

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  40. Hello, I am a descendant of John Trumbull. I have inherited a painting by the artist of Sara Trumbull. I understand that she had beautiful hands and most paintings he did of her, had her hands in. This painting , I have been told, is rare as it doesn't have her hands. Could you give me any more information ?? Also the approx value. Thank you

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    1. Sorry, but this is not at all the type of item we handle nor know anything about. Sorry we cannot help.

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  41. My great aunt was an antiques dealer, and I've inherited her lithograph of what is commonly called the Signing of the Declaration in Independence. However, hers has three windows on each side, not two. Another difference is a figure has his hand in his pocket, where in the above lithograph you posted it is resting at his side. I can't find any information at all about my lithograph. Any suggestion on where to research? Thanks in advance.

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    1. Well, looks like it is a bookplate? by Charles Edouard Armand Dumersq, PINX and not related to your picture above.

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    2. There are tons of copies of Trumbull's image issued in all sorts of formats. Most of them were pretty close copies, but sometimes the artist just went with their own details. It is always interesting to compare!

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  42. I have a friend with Asher B. Durand 1820 print of Trumbull's signing the Declaration of Independence. Very good condition without water stains. Durands and Trumbulls name 1820 are printed as should be. This print is colored. All the Durand prints I have seen are not colored. Did Trumbull or Durand color some of these prints? I am thinking of making an offer to buy it. What is a good one worth?

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    1. The prints were all issued uncolored, but quite a number of print dealers have colored them in the 20th and now 21st century. It is highly unlikely the color is early 19th century.

      We do not discuss values on prints we do not own, sorry. However, it is a good print, even with the added color.

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  43. Hi Chris, I recently acquired a print of Trumbull’s Battle at Bunker’s Hill. The print is large, approximately 24 x 34 inches. The title at the bottom reads “the Battle at Bunker’s Hill near Boston” in very ornate lettering. Above the title is “Published March, 1798 by A.C. Poggi, No. 91 New Bond St.” in typeface. To the far left is “Painted by by John Trumbull, Esq.r” in cursive. To the far right is “Engraved by J. G. Muller” also in cursive. Most versions of this image I’ve seen all have the title, painter, and engraver in typeface. I’m yet to see one like mine with the cursive and ornate writing. Does this mean it is a later edition and not one of the 1798 originals?

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    1. Not necessarily. There were different "states" of the print with different forms of the title/publisher info. It really depends on the paper and process. If those are right, then you have an original.

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  44. Team,

    I acquired a print with the Statue of Liberty on it; and with boats all around it. The write says Copyright 1883 by The American Bank Note Co of New York. I've tried to research all I could but information can not be found about this piece of work

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    1. Not sure what information you are looking for as the print already tells you the date and the publisher. If there is no artist listed, then it would have been a staff artist for the American Bank Note Co. Not sure of the size, but in general prints like that were issued for home decoration.

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  45. Dear Mr. Lane,

    Thanks for sharing so much great information! You recommended deacidification in one post. Are there other things one might want to do with an 18th century print? For example, is there a separate process for repairing foxing? How does one find a good person to do this work (are they called restorers or conservators or?). Are you able to generalize what it might cost to have a piece deacidified, etc? I'm sure access to an urban area is key. I'm in San Francisco.

    I have a pair of 1798 di Poggi published engravings (Death of General Warren & Death of Montgomery). Both are in very nice condition, both framed under glass with some VERY minor foxing, and a fairly even (except near the borders) "toning" (an even darkening on most of the image, but is a bit mottled nearer the outer edges).

    These seem to be the same edition as the person who commented on August 10, 2015. Just a single "script" version of the title (not the double titles in the images of these etchings your article displays). Apparently these are 1798 originals as they credit the original engravers (unlike the similar publication in 1808, and others that came later).

    I wonder if you feel the value of such pieces would justify the cost of conservation? Thanks!

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    1. Sounds like you have a great pair of prints (I did appraisals of both of them over the years for Antiques Roadshow...). They definitely have a value worth preserving them!
      Deacidification is always key, but foxing probably also should be removed for it can continue to grow over time. The toning is not a big deal, but it would probably lighten up a bit if the prints were deacidified. Also key that the framing be to "museum standards."
      I would strongly recommend a professional conservator and I am sure there is someone in SF who could help. I do not know anyone there, but if you contact a local art museum they can probably recommend someone.
      These are great prints and please do take care of them!

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  46. Hi. I have a George Washington Battle of Trenton. It measures 28 1/2 by 23 inches it has an embossed stem bottom left zkr in the center and surrounding zkr ESTAMPES CERCLE LIBRAIEEE
    ALSO ON THE BOTTOM CENTER
    from the original picture by colonel john trumbullike.
    And on top right ...published by H Fiquet l-24, place
    Dauphine.Paris.
    Can you call me if possible. 8189137270 Rob

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  47. Dear sir, I have a large Declaration by Trumbell. It came from a very well known collecter, the wording is all in French? Can you shed some light on this. Thanks

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  48. Hi Chris,
    I just stumbled on your blog post. Asher B. Durand is my 6th great uncle. I too have the print you describe above. It was handed down through the generations, originally coming from Asher's brother Elijah. I would very much like to have it preserved properly, but have not yet found a vendor in Oregon to complete the work.

    Curious if you might be able to confirm if this engraving inspired the artwork on the back of the $2 bill, or if Trumbull's original painting was the inspiration? I've had a challenging time locating the artist who created the $2 bill version.

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    1. It is well worth preserving the print! As for the $2 bill, I really cannot tell you what source they used. Would probably have to get in touch with the treasury.

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