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Rare 1850s George Washington Print Engraved and Published by O. Pelton of Hartford, Connecticut

Abraham Lincoln Had One In His House

This engraving of George Washington that was engraved and published by Oliver Pelton of Hartford Connecticut is an interesting rendition of Gilbert Stuart's famous painting for two reasons. First, another engraving by Pelton of Washington was apparently in Abraham Lincoln's home in Springfield, Illinois when he was assassinated. In a web site maintained by the National Park Service there is a listing for  Lincoln Home, Evidence of Original Furnishings, which records that the Chicago Historical Society was offered the following in 1937:

Picture of George Washington 26-1/2" x 19-1/2", which hung in the home of Abraham Lincoln. Painted by Gilbert Stuart, engraved by O. Pelton, published by Gordon Bill, Springfield, Massachusetts. The name Washington appears at the bottom.

Ours also just says "WASHINGTON" at the bottom like the one in the Lincoln home. Lincoln admired George Washington and apparently found Oliver Pelton's version of Stuart's work pleasing to him. Another interesting aspect of this engraving is its rarity. While I have found a record of a few Washington engravings by O. Pelton I have found none other than this one which was both engraved and published by O. Pelton.


The close-ups above show the simple title of this engraving, WASHINGTON, and the fact that Oliver Pelton both engraved and published the portrait.

Apparently Pelton was not a great entrepreneur and did better marketing his work through Gordon Bill of nearby Springfield, Massachusetts. Pelton was in business as a bank note engraver in the 1830s, doing business as Terry, Pelton & Company. Our Washington engraving was probably done later, in the 1840s or 1850s. In addition to the Pelton engraving in Lincoln's home that was published by Gordon Bill there is also one in the State Capitol of Iowa, as shown below.

George Washington Engraving

 I have had a number Washington engravings done in the middle 1800s based on this Gilbert Stuart painting and each makes a few adjustments in the engraving process. Below is a close-up of Washington's face and hands from the Pelton engraving (with a little digital photo blues and reds added that are not in the print).

The measurements of the print are 24 x 16 inches with the borders and an image area of  20 x 13 inches. A possibly unique print of the Father of Our Country with an interesting association to another great President, Abraham Lincoln, this 1850s engraving has a lot going for it.

Price: SOLD