Catalog Archive
Auction 138, Lot 875

"[Lot of 2 - George Washington and General Nathanael Greene]",

Subject: Politics - United States

Period: 1900-1913 (circa)


Color: Black & White

10 x 12.8 inches
25.4 x 32.5 cm

These fine examples of mezzotint engraving were created and signed in pencil by S. Arlent Edwards. Born in England in 1862, S. Arlent Edwards studied art and architecture before becoming known for his mezzotint reproductions of well-known paintings. He moved to New York in 1890 to become a book illustrator and began to revive the art of single-print mezzotint engravings in color which had not been in use since the late eighteenth century. Edwards was known for inking and printing the plates on his own, and then only printing a limited number of copies before destroying each plate. This set of prints includes portraits of George Washington and General Nathanael Greene.

The first portrait shows George Washington with a figured curtain in the background, and is monogrammed with "SAE" and the date 1900 in the lower-right corner of the engraving. A rosette lies just below the engraving in the margin next to Arlent's signature in pencil. This mezzotint was copied from an original painting by Edward Savage from 1793, and was published by Jos. F. Sabin in New York.

The full-length portrait of Gen. Greene shows him prepared for battle with his troops in the background, and was made from an original painting by C.W. Peale, circa 1783. Green worked his way through the ranks to become Major General of the Continental Army in the American Revolutionary War, and succeeded in becoming George Washington's most gifted and dependable officer. The Greene print is accompanied by a typewritten note from the J.J. Gillespie Company certifying that the print was a special edition of a private plate from 1913, from which only 50 impressions were made before the plate was destroyed in 1913.



George Washington: Very faint abrasion in upper-left corner. (A)<br> Nathanael Greene: Minor abrasion in the image and professional paper restoration in upper-left margin corner that does not distract. (B+)

Estimate: $550 - $700


Closed on 12/7/2011