Currier & Ives print sets auction record at $62,500

The runaway top lot of a December auction was Across the Continent, a Currier & Ives (New York, 1868) lithograph print depicting the changing landscape of the mid nineteenth-century American frontier.
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NEW YORK – On Dec. 13, 2018 Swann Galleries closed out its fall season with a sale of Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books. The runaway top lot of the sale was Across the Continent, a Currier & Ives (New York, 1868) lithograph print depicting the changing landscape of the mid nineteenth-century American frontier upon the completion of the Transcontinental Railroads.

“Across the Continent” Currier & Ives print, 20 1/2” x 29”, $62,500. Photo courtesy Swann Auction Galleries, www.swanngalleries.com

“Across the Continent” Currier & Ives print, 20 1/2” x 29”, $62,500. Photo courtesy Swann Auction Galleries, www.swanngalleries.com

Across the Continent is one of the best-known collaborations between Fanny Palmer – the illustrator who produced nearly 200 lithographs for the company – and Currier & Ives. The bottom text of the Currier & Ives print reads: “Westward the Course of Empire Takes Its Way.”

The large-folio hand-colored lithograph is highlighted with gum arabic. The sheet size is 20 1/2 x 29 inches. With very fine original hand-color, the sheet is lightly toned with minor staining in the lower margin. The gum arabic is aged and crackled in places. The lower margin is trimmed close to subtitle with the Currier & Ives imprint excised.

The work came across the block, by descent, from the noteworthy collection of Thomas Winthrop Streeter. He was gifted the lithograph on his 80th birthday by his children in 1963. Across the Continent reached $62,500 (including buyer’s premium), which is a record for the print.

Visit https://www.swanngalleries.com for more information.

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