Portraits of the Presidents, 1846

Portraits of the Presidents of the United States, 1846
Peter S. Duval, Lithographer
Philadelphia, 1846
color lithograph
Unrestored original condition
original, untouched condition, strong colors, complete with no tears or loss, original varnish with some toning, limited scuffing to surface, a few small oxidation spots, the wall hanging is attached to its original wood rods and brass hanging rings
43 × 33 inches
Sale Status: 
For Sale

Portraits of the eleven U.S. Presidents as of 1846, the insignia of the current 29 states, including Iowa admitted December 28, 1846, Florida on March 3, 1845 and Texas on December 29, 1845. This is a full color lithograph that also presents George Washington at the top and center of the composition framed with a green olive wreath and overseeing a fierce American Bald Eagle who sits astride both the draped flags of the Union on poles decorated with gold braid and tassel, and a large red, white and blue shield bearing the insignia of the 29 admitted states. The scene also includes below a vignette of the landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth, Massachusetts Bay Colony titled "The New World". All of this colorful imagery is surrounded by a large, printed gilt decorative frame. This wall decoration by Peter Duval includes 4 blank discs where the next four states admitted to the Union would be represented. The new statehood insignia appear to be added at the bottom of each column of insignia.

The patriotic wall decoration is printed with rich colors.  Peter S. Duval, the lithographer, is credited with introducing color lithography to the United States. He trained as a young man in France and immigrated to Philadelphia. Shortly after working with an existing print shop in Philadelphia, Duval established his own shop for creating color lithographs. He ultimately became the preeminent printer and lithographer in color in Philadelphia.

I have not found a published example of this edition of Duval's rare work.

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The Back Room