Prints for the Parlor

Around 1882, a miner visited little Annie Ellis (1875-1938) and her very poor family in Bonanza, Colorado. The miner had just struck it rich, and he gave Annie’s mother a gift of twenty-five dollars. In her memoir, Life of an Ordinary Woman (1929), Annie remembered: There must have been many things Mama longed for (we Read More

The Road to Prohibition

Did prints help outlaw liquor in the United States? On January 17, 1920, Prohibition went into effect in the United States. The 18th Amendment was ratified in 1919, but it gave the country a whole year to prepare for the actual outlawing of the “manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors.” The story doesn’t begin Read More

Print Prices in a Pandemic

What did 2020 mean for print collecting? Currier & Ives (after A. F. Tait), Life of a Hunter. ‘A tight fix’ [Lithograph, 1861]. Since the beginning of the pandemic, print sellers and collectors have been trying to figure out how to continue doing what they love in a socially distanced world. One of our dealer Read More

Saving an Endangered Lithograph

On May 15, 1858, Colonel Thomas Pearson August ordered the First Regiment of Virginia Volunteers to assemble on May 22nd for a four-day encampment in Ashland, Virginia. This 1858 meeting was notable as the last peaceful encampment of the militia before the start of the Civil War. The event was memorialized in a hand-colored lithograph Read More

Little Snow-Ball

When collectors take the deep dive into popular 19th-century American prints, they often begin noticing similarities. In the days before robust copyright protections, images were shamelessly copied and reused. It can become a chicken-and-egg detective game trying to figure out which image came first. In some cases, the answer is easy; for others, mysteries remain. Read More

Capturing the “Swedish Nightingale”

October 6, 2020, was the bicentennial of the birthday of Jenny Lind—one of the most famous women of the 19th century. Born in Stockholm in 1820, Lind entered the Swedish Royal Theater School in 1830—the youngest student ever accepted. By 18, her voice had made her famous in Sweden, and during the 1840s she created Read More

Who was Little Fannie?

A collector recently queried us about a print she had of “Little Fannie” published by Currier & Ives. The collector wanted to know: Was this a famous child? How had Fannie ended up immortalized in a print? Who was Fannie? The truth is that Little Fannie could have easily have been Little Mary or Little Read More

Tracking the Tract House

A print collector recently contacted AHPCS asking if we could provide any insight into two 1849 Nathaniel Currier prints lacking the predictable 152 Nassau Street address. (James Ives didn’t become a partner until 1857.) For a typical 1849 Currier print, like Louisa below, one expects to see “152 Nassau St.” printed somewhere in the bottom Read More

An Icon’s Birthday

The Brooklyn Bridge turns 137 years old today! After more than 13 years of construction, the bridge opened on May 24, 1883, connecting Manhattan and Brooklyn across the East River. At the time, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world. Its distinctive architecture has inspired art in a variety of mediums–including prints. Here Read More