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    Superb 1790s Hand-colored Pen and Ink Portrait of John Adams in Early Ornate Gold-leafed Frame It is difficult to decide whether this gorgeous drawing has more appeal as a piece of folk art or as a Presidential/political item. We have seen a fair number of portraits of Presidents and statesman in this genre, dating from this early era through the mid-nineteenth century. But nothing as nice as this one, especially considering that it is for a President for whom almost no "period" collectibles are to be found. The design incorporates a Liberty Cap on a pole, a Federal eagle with arrows (common 1790s image) and an overflowing cornucopia representing America's then-principal source of prosperity. Three stacked books are marked "Law," "Order," and "Justice," symbolizing the new American government. Above Adams' head is his name in a wreath, with sun's rays emanating outward. The slogan at the bottom, "Success to America," appeared frequently on Liverpool ceramic pitchers of that era, which were made in England for sale in America. Taken together, the motifs clearly suggest that Adams is being honored as he ascends to the American Presidency, after Washington, in 1797. The condition is fabulous, and it is housed in a magnificent gold-leafed vintage frame which looks as is if it may well be original to the piece. Provenance for this remarkable Adams piece is respected New England dealer Rex Stark, who sold it some twenty years ago for $3,000. The drawing itself is 5" x 7 1/2" and 9" x 13" as framed.

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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2005
    22nd-23rd Wednesday-Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 466

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