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THE BOSTONIAN'S PAYING THE EXCISE MAN OR TARRING AND FEATHERING.
PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF AMBASSADOR J. WILLIAM MIDDENDORF II
THE BOSTONIAN'S PAYING THE EXCISE MAN OR TARRING AND FEATHERING

PHILLIP DAWE, 1774

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THE BOSTONIAN'S PAYING THE EXCISE MAN OR TARRING AND FEATHERING
Phillip Dawe, 1774

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Sallie Glover
Sallie Glover American Folk Art

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Lot Essay

[Phillip DAWE, engraver]. The Bostonian's Paying the Excise Man or Tarring and Feathering. [London: Printed for Robt. Sayer & J. Bennet, Map & Printseller No. 53, Fleet Street as the Act directs 31 Octr. 1774.]

An alternate view of John Malcoms tarring and feathering in Boston. Although Robert Sayer's print shop had published political prints in the late 1760s—mostly on the seating of Wilkes—Sayer did not become active in this sphere again until 1774, when he became partners with John Bennett. Sayer continued in the management of maps and sea charts, while Bennett managed the other branches of the business as well as overseeing its day-to-day operations. Likely in an effort to pay off his debts to his new partner, Bennett began publishing a wider variety of small-scale prints on a variety of trendy subjects, including politics. The closure of the Boston Port Bill loomed large in the news at that time, and Bennett sought to capitalize on that trend. Inspired by the appearance of A New Method of Macarony Making (see lot 305), Bennet published the present image only weeks after Bowles’s image appeared, again featuring the villainous John Malcom receiving his punishment. Yet unlike Macarony Making, the Sayer and Bennett print also makes references to the repealed Stamp Act as (represented by broadside hung upside down on the “LIBERTY, TREE”) as well as more recent events—namely the Boston Tea Party with several men aboard ships pouring out chests of tea into the water. Further, this depiction veers towards the opposition party in London—not wishing for, or even considering, a civil war that will lead to American independence but rather, championing a populace taking a principled stand against oppressive laws” while underscoring the "irony between the Americans' demands for greater liberty and their methods of enforcing compliance..." (Torbert, Dissolving the Bonds,, pp 202-204). Torbert 1775.74, second state; Fowble 93; Cresswell 670.

Mezzotint. 13 3/8 X 9 3/4 in (340 x 251 mm). (Trimmed to plate edge with loss of imprint at lower margin, clean vertical tear near lower right corner, small loss at lower left corner revealing mounting remnants along verso of lower margin). Framed.

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