“We will begin with a special collection of prints covering the early period of American history,” said Rick Stattler, director of printed and manuscript Americana at Swann. “It traces the national narrative from the Colonial years through the start of the Civil War, and includes items referencing the American Revolutionary War, portraits of the founding fathers, allegorial pieces about the rising stature of America in the world, and examples of early American engraving.”
One of the sale highlights is an engraving of a sketch by Bernard Romans, An Exact View of the Late Battle at Charlestown, June 17th, 1775, which was printed in London in 1776 (estimated $40,000–60,000).
“It’s one of the very few engravings of the Battle of Bunker Hill based on an actual eyewitness view of a battle which was a seminal moment in the creation of the nation,” Stattler said. “The engraving is also extremely scarce. Only one other example has been traced at auction since 1973.
Another highlight is a pair of hand-colored etchings of George Washington. The first, G. Washington in his Last Illness, Attended by Doc’rs Craik and Brown depicts Washington on his deathbed surrounded by doctors and his wife, Martha. The second, Lived Respected and Fear’d—Died Lamentd and Rever’d, shows Washington’s portrait on a funeral urn with mourners. Both images were published in Philadelphia in 1800 (estimated $6,000–9,000).
In the afternoon portion of the sale, Stattler says Swann will feature works mapping the history of the Americas, including Canada and Latin America, materials from the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, American Judaica, and a large selection of materials on the American West.