4033: 1770, Woodblock Printing Plate by ISAIAH THOMAS
c. 1770 Woodblock Printing Plate by American Patriot and Printer Isaiah Thomasc. 1770, Woodblock Printing Plate, Depicting a Dog and Fox in the Woods, Signed "I T" for Isaiah Thomas, Very Fine.
This is an original, hand-engraved, 2.5" x 3" wooden printing block, showing a dog and fox in the woods with a house in the background. At the bottom are the engraved initials "I T" used by Colonial American printer, Isaiah Thomas (1749-1831), a prolific publisher in his day. This woodblock could have been used to illustrate one of Thomas' newspapers, "Massachusetts Spy" (1770-1802), Royal American Magazine (1774), Massachusetts Magazine (1789-1793), or his "New England Almanac" (1775-1803), or one of various Bibles, books or children's' publications he printed between 1770 and 1803. This printing block is in nice condition, with no significant cracks or flaws, aside from some hairline scratches. A fine example of an early American woodblock printing plate.
Isaiah Thomas, 1749–1831, American patriot and printer, from Worcester, Mass. Thomas printed outspoken Whig editorials in the Massachusetts Spy, a newspaper that he helped to found. He fought at the battles of Lexington and Concord and after the Revolution settled in Worcester as a printer. He published in 1783 "A Specimen of Isaiah Thomas's Printing Types," valued as evidence of the printing equipment of a leading American printer of the time. His other ventures included the Massachusetts Magazine (1789–95) and a folio Bible (1791). In 1810 he published the "History of Printing in America," compiling during his research one of the most important collections of early American newspapers and pamphlets. He also founded and endowed the American Antiquarian Society of Worcester.
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