"The Death of General Washington"
Listed as Number 21 in "Threads of History"
After the Engraving by Amos Doolittle also known as "The Paul Revere of Connecticut"
c. 1800, American Cotton Printed Textile with legend, "The Death of General Washington," After the Engraving by Amos Doolittle, Brown Print on Cloth Fabric, Choice Extremely Fine.
This exceedingly rare, original historic Printed Textile measures about 21" x 19" being one of the finest known examples to exist. It was made in Philadelphia, by Pember & Luzarder, shortly after George Washington's death in December of 1799. Design as listed as "No. 21" in the reference book entitled, "Threads of History: Americana Recorded on Cloth 1775 to the Present," published by the Smithsonian Institution. This extremely rare textile is only the sixth that we know of having appeared over the past several decades. We have only offered two prior examples of this textile, one which was sold in our EAHA Auction of February 14, 2009, Lot 209, being in burgundy on off-white, graded Choice Very Fine, which sold for $12,980. This early American printed textile is designed after a historic Engraving by Amos Doolittle of New Haven, Connecticut. It is printed in dark brown on remarkably supple and clean off-white Cloth Fabric having just some modest scattered light natural tone. Overall, its condition is exceptional being solid, fresh appearing and is excellent for any textile of this type and era. This museum quality historic textile depicts George Washington on his deathbed. He is attended to by his Doctors Craik and Dick, as Martha Washington sits at the foot of his bed. Headed, "The Death of General Washington" the text within the top block reads, in full: "This most illustrious and much lamented Personage died on the 15th of Decr. 1799 in the 68th year of his Age, after a short illness of 30 hours in the full Possession of all his Fame, like a Chritian and an Hero, calm and collected, without a groan and without a sigh."
A total of Six different Ornate Cartouches surround the scene, each of which lavish praise of Washington. Unlike several others we have seen over the decades, this example is by far the best. There are some very minor expected light tone spots which do not distract significantly, and a prior owner embrioded a small ornate "R - x - E" in the blank field above the main vignette, perhaps being the name of that owner. All of the text and the large central designs are quite bold and clear, with a whole and complete overall appearance for display. A museum quality historic early George Washington American textile.
Amos Doolittle (May 8, 1754 - February 2, 1832) was an American engraver and silversmith, known as "The Paul Revere of Connecticut."
A self-taught artist from Cheshire, CT., Doolittle became an expert in copper plate engraving and specialized in scenes of the American Revolutionary War when in 1775 he enlisted in the New Haven company of the Governor's Guards, including a four engraving set depicting the April 19th, 1775 Battles of Lexington and Concord, which were based on his first-hand reconnaissance of the battlefield. He was sought out by many early Americans eager to learn the art of engraving, including James Wilson and Ralph Earl.
Amos Doolittle was also member of the Governor's Second Company of Guards under Capt. Benedict Arnold.
The success of his first prints marked the beginning of Doolittle's artistic career. He was sought out by many early Americans eager to learn the art of engraving, including James Wilson. Doolittle established a shop in New Haven, Connecticut, on the present-day site of Yale University's Old Campus, from where he created portraits, maps, and bookplates. Doolittle died on January 30, 1832 and is buried in the Grove Street Cemetery in New Haven