Lot 244: 1800 Death of General Washington Printed Philadelphia Textile - Threads No. 21
October 29, 2016
Rancho Santa Fe, CA, USALive Auction
"The Death of General Washington" An Exceedingly Rare Textile Listed As Number 21 In "Threads of History"
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. This famous American textile is designed after an engraving by Amos Doolittle of New Haven, Connecticut. It is printed in dark brown on remarkably soft, supple and clean, fine off-white Cloth Fabric. Overall, the condition is exceptional being solid, fresh and truly excellent for any textile of this type and period.
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. 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 filed 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.
Listed as "No. 21" in the classic reference book entitled, "Threads of History: Americana Recorded on Cloth 1775 to the Present," published by the Smithsonian Institution. This is an extremely rare textile, only the sixth that we know of over the past three 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. A centerpiece and remarkable "prize" for the winning collector. A superb historic, period American textile and piece of important George Washington memorabilia.