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Lot 144: ANTIQUE 1871 Thomas Nast Full Page Harper's Weekly Cartoon
Antique & Collectible Books-Art-Paper Civil War, Antique Reference, Outsider & Harper's Weekly Art, etc
December 1, 2016
Edgewater, FL, USA
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Description: Antique 1871 Thomas Nast Woodblock Art. It is suitable for framing. Signed in image. Thomas Nast Full Page Woodblock Political Cartoon From December 9, 1871 Issue of Harper's Weekly. Interior Page woodblock cartoon, of that Harper's Weekly issue. Image Titled: "H. G. DIOGENES HAS FOUND THE HONEST MAN". Image measures approximately 14 inches high wide X 9 inches wide plus borders. Edges show light handling wear, one short closed tear, & several small foxing spots, which will be covered by the mat when framed. Paper is lightly age toned but not brittle. Signed in image: "TH. NAST." Overall the piece is Good Condition. Nast rips satirically into the new Liberal Republican Party which was founded by Horace Greely, who would be its first & only presidential candidate, & Carl Schurz. Schurz was a Swiss born American who had served in various posts under Republicans but like Greeley thought that Reconstruction should be over as the South had paid its debt. The cartoon has Horace "Diogenes" Greeley finding his honest man, who is Schurz. This was in the run up to the Liberal Republican Party convention where Greeley would be nominated to face Grant in the 1872 election. The anti-Greeley campaign in 1872 was famously and effectively summed up in the cartoons of Nast such as this one, whom Grant later credited with a major role in his re-election. Nast's cartoons showed Greeley giving bail money for Jefferson Davis, throwing mud on Grant, and shaking hands with John Wilkes Booth across Lincoln's grave. His mercilessness may have contributed to Greelyâs demise. Greeley was devastated at his defeat & became increasingly unhinged. He found himself unable to sleep after November 13 (a week after the election) & remained under medical care. At the recommendation of a family physician, Greeley was sent to the asylum of Dr. George S. Choate. There, he continued to worsen, and died on November 29, 1872. Thomas Nast (1840-1902) was a German-born American caricaturist and editorial cartoonist considered to be the "Father of the American Cartoon". He was the scourge of Democratic Representative "Boss" Tweed and the Tammany Hall Democratic party political machine & of the Democratic Party in general whom he considered pro-South traitors. He was also strongly anti-Irish & anti-Catholic Church, since in the 19th century the Irish strongly supported the Democratic Party & were predominately Catholic. Nast considered the Catholic Church as a threat to American values. According to his biographer, Fiona Deans Halloran, Nast was "intensely opposed to the encroachment of Catholic ideas into public education". Among his notable works were the creation of the modern version of Santa Claus----based on the traditional German figures of Sankt Nikolaus and Weihnachtsmann----and the political symbol of the elephant for the Republican Party. Contrary to popular belief, Nast did not create Uncle Sam----the male personification of the American people----or Columbia----the female personification of American values----or the Democratic donkey, though he did popularize these symbols through his artwork. Nast was associated with the magazine Harper's Weekly from 1859 to 1860 and from 1862 until 1886. It has been argued by eminent historians that as a political cartoonist, Thomas Nast wielded more influence than any other artist of the 19th century. He not only enthralled a vast audience with boldness and wit, but swayed it time and again to his personal position on the strength of his visual imagination. President Lincoln called Nast "our best recruiting sergeant" for one of his most celebrated cartoons "Compromise with the South", which was directed against those in the North who opposed the prosecution of the American Civil War, as well as, for drawing battlefields in border and southern states. President Grant attributed his victory in 1868 to "the sword of Sheridan and the pencil of Thomas Nast." In the 1872 presidential campaign, Nast's ridicule of Horace Greeley's candidacy was especially merciless. After Grant's victory in 1872, Mark Twain wrote the artist a letter saying: "Nast, you more than any other man have won a prodigious victory for Grant----I mean, rather, for Civilization and Progress." As a crusading civil reformer he helped destroy the corrupt "Boss" Tweed Ring that swindled NYC of millions of dollars. His impact on American public life was formidable enough to profoundly affect the outcome of every presidential election during the period 1864 to 1884. ALL ITEMS ARE GUARANTEED TO BE ACCURATELY DESCRIBED, NOT DEFECTIVE, & GENUINE. PLEASE NOTE: Shipping will be billed to winning bidder by Last Chance Auctions in their billing for item(s). Media Mail postage is shown for shipping in the United States. 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Condition Report: Good Condition