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Feb 17, 2022
Baltimore: Ferrai & Dupin, no date (ca. 1800). Second state (of three) of the John Galland engraving. Rare stipple-engraved portrait on silk, by J(ohn). Galland, after F(rancis). Bartoli and Gilbert Stuart. Silk approximately 18 1/2 x 14 in. (470 x 356 mm). Mounted to board and edges of mat; dampstaining in bottom and right edges; scattered soiling; closed tear, just touching ruled border in upper right edge; separations and tearing in greater margin where mounted to mat. In mat and in frame, 21 1/4 x 17 in. (540 x 432 mm). Hart 789a; Baker 228; Wick 61 (David Edwin printing)
This image was first engraved by David Edwin (1776-1841) and published in Philadelphia at the beginning of the Quasi-War between the United States and France (1798-1800). According to William Spohn Baker in his The Engraved Portraits of Washington (Philadelphia, 1880), John Galland reworked portions of Edwin's image. The version here, printed in Baltimore by Ferrai & Dupin sometime after Edwin's original, depicts a seated former President George Washington, who was reappointed by President John Adams as Commander-in-Chief of the army, is shown in full military regalia. Edwin's original printing is dedicated: "His Excellency George Washington Lieut. Genl. of the Armies of the United States of America. Respectfully Dedicated to the Lovers of their Country and Firm Supporters of its Constitution." This copy's dedication was changed to: "Dedicated to Commodore John Barry and the Officers of the Navy and Army of North America..." During this conflict with France naval commander Commodore Barry commanded all U.S. ships in the West Indies. He is recognized as the first American commissioned naval officer, made Commodore by Washington in 1797. He retired in 1801 and died in 1803.
"Although the inscription reads 'F. Bartoli Pinxt.,' this artist has not been identified nor is any such painting known to exist. While Bartoli may have designed the pose and the setting, the head of Washington was based on Gilbert Stuart's 'Athenaeum' likeness with which David Edwin was already familiar" (Wick 61).
Charles Henry Hart in his Catalogue of the Engraved Portraits of Washington (New York, 1904) records three printings by Galland: the first, published by John McElwee; the second, printed by Ferrai & Dupin, Baltimore; the third, with the Ferrai & Dupin imprint erased. He does not identify whether these were printed on paper or silk, or both. Although he doesn't record a date for any of these Galland printings, Mount Vernon--who have a paper copy--suggest a date of 1803-1810. It is our theory that it was printed either at the end of the war (1800) or in commemoration of Barry's passing (1803), as it is interesting to note that the dedication should be changed after such a short period of time.
An extremely rare printing on silk, possibly one of only five known examples. One copy is held in the Library of Congress, two copies were sold at auction in 1898, and described then as "very rare" and "extremely scarce." Another copy was sold at auction in 1906, and described then as "excessively rare in this state." The copy offered here is the fifth.
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