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AUCTION 24

The Flying Artillery


439.    

[TEXAS]. BILLINGS, Hammatt (artist). Battle of Palo Alto. [along bottom] Published by S. Walker, Boston, New York and Philadelphia. [lower left] Drawn by H. Billings; [lower right] Engraved by J. Duthie. [1846?]. Steel engraving: image area: 12.2 x 17.6 cm; overall sheet size: 22.3 x 28.6. Edges lightly browned, small tear in lower margin. Overall, very good.

First edition. Garrett & Goodwin, pp. 550-551. Not in Kelsey.

A fairly interesting depiction of a crucial moment in the battle when Duncan’s flying artillery turned back a charge by Torrejón’s cavalry on the American left flank. The cannons fire as the cavalry retreats in the middle ground.

United States artist Hammatt Billings (1818-1874) was skilled in a wide range of media. He designed furniture, statuary, monuments, architecture, and public and private gardens. He was a painter and portraitist and an illustrator whose drawings appeared in Uncle Tom's Cabin and Little Women. Billings' very versatility has contributed to his near total historical oblivion. For more on Billings, see James F. O'Gorman, Accomplished in All Departments of Art: Hammatt Billings of Boston, 1818-1874 (Studies in Print Culture & the History of the Book). Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1998.

Engraver James D. Duthie, a native of England, worked in the United States between 1850 and 1862, specializing in lithography and steel and copper engraving. Duthie was the first engraver to work for the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, becoming Superintendent of Engraving in 1885. His dock scene was used on all denominations of the first issue of fractional currency. Hamilton, Early American Book Illustrators and Wood Engravers 394. McMahan, Artists of Washington, D.C.

($150.00-$300.00)

Auction 24 Abstracts

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