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Lot 0193
Description: Revolutionary War

Revolutionary War John McRae Engraving of "Pulling Down the Statue of George III By The "Sons of Freedom."

Engraving entitled "Pulling Down the Statue of George III By The "Sons of Freedom." At the Bowling Green, City of New York, July 1776".

Artist: John C. McRae was an engraver and printer in New York City who based this engraving off of a painting by Johannes Adam Simon Oertel (1823-1909). Engraving image size 30.5" x 20", with a few minor surface scratches, and printed by H. Peters. Matted, framed and glazed to a completed size of 39" x 30.5". Oertel was a painter and engraver who emigrated from Germany in 1848. He is known for his religious paintings and for his ceiling decorations at the House of Representatives in Washington. Expected age toning and grubbiness commensurate with its age, in a very lightly rubbed and chipped frame.

A rare engraving by H. Peters, Circa 1859. On July 9, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was proclaimed for the first time in New York in front of George Washington and his troops. In response, the crowd of soldiers and citizens went to Bowling Green, a park in Lower Manhattan, the site of a lead statue of King George III on horseback. The statue was collectively pulled down, and the lead was later melted down to make musket balls and bullets for use in the War of American Independence. Careful records were kept, and it is known that 42,088 bullets were made. This engraving and the painting on which it was based, show a version of the event that includes both historically accurate and symbolic figures. According to the eye witness accounts, there were soldiers, sailors, Afro-Americans, and other New Yorkers, but not the women, children, and Native Americans. Also, King George is inaccurately portrayed. The statue in the image is wearing eighteenth century clothing and a crown. No image exists of the actual statue, but descriptions of it mention that it was sculpted wearing a Roman toga. All that is left of the statue are a few fragments that broke off when it fell to the ground. The event was indeed symbolic because it showed the world that Americans were ready to fight for independence and join the American Revolution for freedom and democracy.. John McRae specialized in engraved portraits and historical scenes from approximately 1845 to 1870. In the latter category, he concentrated primarily upon scenes from early American history and he produced large works of art depicting the marriage of Pocahantas, the landing of the Pilgrim Fathers, episodes from the life of George Washington and various battles of the Revolutionary War.

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.


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Revolutionary War John McRae Engraving of "Pulling Down

Estimate $400 - $500Jun 26