U.S. FRIGATE CONSTITUTION, OF 44 GUNS
PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF AMBASSADOR J. WILLIAM MIDDENDORF II
U.S. FRIGATE CONSTITUTION, OF 44 GUNS

ABEL BOWN, C. 1812

Details
U.S. FRIGATE CONSTITUTION, OF 44 GUNS
Abel Bown, c. 1812

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Lot Essay

William LYNN, after, Abel BOWEN, engraver. U.S. Frigate Constitution, of 44 Guns. Boston: William Lynn, [c. 1812].

A very rare and important print of "Old Ironsides." Abel Bowen had established himself as a printer in Boston around August of 1812, shortly after the outbreak of the War of 1812. Although the conflict was deeply unpopular in New England, the spectacular victory over the H.M.S. Guerriere in August 1812 (the battle which earned the ship the nickname "Old Ironsides") proved immensely popular in Boston. Soon after the frigate's return to Boston with her British prisoners, 500 "respectable citizens of both parties" formed a procession from the Exchange Coffee House to Faneuil Hall where Commodore Hull was the guest of honor at a celebratory dinner. ("Tribute to American Gallantry," The Repertory & General Advertiser, Boston, 8 Sept. 1812, p. 2). Bowen most likely produced this image in the immediate wake of that victory. Grolier Club, United States Navy, 214; Stauffer, 233.

Aquatint and line engraving. 17 x 21 5/8 in (430 x 552mm). (Some marginal chipping, small dampstain and a few toned areas, portions of outer margin tacked to the backing board.) Framed.

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