HANDSOME LARGE CALLIGRAPHIC PORTRAIT LITHOGRAPH OF WASHINGTON CREATED FROM THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE, WITH ILLUSTRATED VIGNETTES REPRESENTING THE GREAT SEALS OF THE 36 POST-CIVIL WAR STATES
WASHINGTON, George. Declaration of Independence. Iowa: W.H. Pratt, circa 1865. Large lithographic broadside, measuring 21 by 27-1/2 inches; matted and framed, entire piece measures 30 by 37 inches. $4800.
Original large calligraphic portrait lithograph of George Washington created from the text of the Declaration of Independence, with portions of the text highlighted to create a portrait of Washington clearly visible within the text, surrounded by the Great Seals of the 36 post-Civil War states, designed by W.H. Pratt.
"In this inventive version of the Declaration of Independence, a bust portrait of George Washington appears within Thomas Jefferson's immortal words. The Great Seal of the United States—featuring a bald eagle—sits above the text, while 36 state seals—one for each state in 1865—appear to sprout from an encircling vine. The designer of this lithograph, William Henry Pratt, also created calligraphy portraits of George Washington within the Constitution and Abraham Lincoln within the Emancipation Proclamation" (Mount Vernon Collections). Pratt was considered one of the leading practitioners of this art form and Pratt calligraphic portraits are highly collectible even today. This lithograph can be dated to 1865-67, the brief period following the Civil War in which the United States had 36 states (after Nevada's 1864 admission to the United States and prior to the addition of Nebraska).
Faintest soiling, light creasing, and some paper repairs. Extremely good.