Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    William Brooke Thomas Trego (1858-1909), artist. "Siege and Barbette Guns, Rope Mantle and Oak Shutter, Fort Haskell, 1865," circa 1893. Oil on canvas and mounted on board, 30" x 24.5", framed to an overall size of 33.5" x 28", signed lower left "Wm. T. Trego". The painting is pictured and listed in the James A. Michener Art Museum's Catalogue Raisonné of William T. Trego's works. The catalogue states, "This was one of seven works commissioned by publisher George Barrie as illustrations for his monumental work The Army and Navy of the United States, published in Philadelphia, 1889-95. It was reproduced in section 6 as a 7½-by-6-inch black-and-white photogravure. A study for the figure pulling on the cannon wheel can be seen in a photo taken in Trego's studio in 1901." The sketch was known, but missing from the catalogue of Trego's works until the owner contacted the James A. Michener Art Museum in June of 2011.

    William B. T. Trego (1858 -1909), the son of the portrait painter Jonathan Trego, was born in Yardley, Bucks County, Pennsylvania. At the age of two, he was stricken with paralysis, probably due to polio, but in spite of this handicap he went on to become a noted painter of military subjects. When William was sixteen, the Tregos moved to Detroit, where the elder Trego established a studio at which William studied.

    With his mangled hands and partial paralysis, William Trego could barely write. Not to be deterred, he would jam his brush into his twisted right hand and press it against the canvas with his left. When he worked, it required all of his energy, he painted with his entire body.

    William's career was launched when the twenty-year old artist exhibited and sold his painting titled The Charge of Custer at Winchester at the Michigan State Fair. With the proceeds from the sale, he moved to Philadelphia to attend the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and study under Thomas Eakins.

    In 1887 Trego went to Paris, where he took classes from Tony Robert-Fleury and William Adolphe Bouguereau at the Academy Julian. He exhibited battle subjects at the Paris Salon in 1889 and 1890. Back in Philadelphia in 1890, Trego was hailed as "the American Detaille" for his many military paintings. His notable works include March to Valley Forge (1883) and Rescue of the Colors (1899). William Trego continued to paint until his death in 1909.

    Condition: Excellent.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2016
    11th Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 998

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $200,000 (minimum $19), plus 20% of any amount between $200,000 and $2,000,000, plus 12% of any amount over $2,000,000 per lot.

    Sold on Dec 11, 2016 for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 8 days left to consign to the 2021 December 4 - 5 Selections from the Collection of Tom Charles Huston Americana & Political Signature® Auction !

    Learn about consigning with us

    Heritage has gone above and beyond my expectations in handling all of my transactions in a thoroughly professional manner. I would not hesitate to recommend them to anyone worldwide for the exemplary auction and valuation services they provide.
    Richard H.,
    Corsicana, TX
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search