Historical American Prints George and Martha Washington
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A rare pair of antique chromolithographs of George and Martha Washington, these portraits were printed in the 1880's by the famous Strobridge Lithographing Company in Cincinnati, Ohio. The founder of the firm, Elijah C. Middleton, published them as his first "Oil Portraits" (oleographs) in 1861, based on the original paintings by Gilbert Stuart. Middleton left the firm that same year, setting up shop as a "Portrait Publisher" and issuing his oval pictures mounted on canvas, while this later pair by Strobridge is on paper. After Middleton left the company, it was finally in 1880 named after its long-time partner, Hines Strobridge.
The frames are wood, pine that has darkened over the many years, faced with real gold leaf, applied over gesso, which has splits and abrasions and a lovely aged and yet still gleaming appearance. The hand made glass covering them is original also, with tiny pinholes and air bubbles. The backing is one solid piece of pine, held in place with small finishing nails that have corroded in place. There is a hanging wire attached with two screw eyes on each, but frankly, the wires are flimsy and we recommend replacing them---we've left them in place only for authenticity.
The framed measurements are 11 inches by 13 inches, while the sight size is 8 1/2 by 10 1/2 inches. Due to the heavy wood frames and back covers, they each weigh a little over 1 1/2 pounds. Both portraits are in exceptional condition; the white dot you see on some of our photos of George Washington is light being funneled through one of the pinholes in the glass. The corners are tight on the frames and both portraits, as you can see, display beautifully. The colors of these pictures are still vibrant and the details are so finely drawn that they are striking portraits of the Father of Our Country and the first First Lady. Beautiful art...for the history buff, the Washington fan and Colonial and country interiors...