BRUCE GIMELSON

PAINTINGS • AUTOGRAPHS • HISTORIC OBJECTS

Box 440, Garrison, New York 10542-0440
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bgimelson@aol.com
www.brucegimelson.com


An extraordinary pair of documents signed by William Clark and Meriwether Lewis, the two most important nineteenth century American explorers who were the first to cross the western part of the United States and view the Pacific Ocean


William Clark and Meriwether Lewis, two signed documents, the first a Justice of Peace appointment of H. M. Guyol, Document signed “William Clark” as Governor of Missouri Territory, St. Louis Oct. 10th 1817; second is a partly-printed document signed 1809 appointment of Thomas Oliver as Judge Advocate of the 2d Regiment of Militia with bold “Meriwether Lewis” as Governor and Commander in Chief of Louisiana Territory; professionally framed together with matching portraits after the famous paintings by Charles Willson Peale. Very Fine and a choice pair of Lewis and Clark territorial gubernatorial documents. William Clark and Meriwether Lewis are best known for their roles as leaders of the Lewis and Clark Expedition from May 1804 to September 1806, the first American expedition to cross the western portion of the United States. President Thomas Jefferson commissioned the expedition shortly after the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 to explore and to map the newly acquired territory, to find a practical route across the western half of the continent, and to establish an American presence in this territory before Britain and other European powers tried to claim it. The campaign’s secondary objectives were scientific and economic: to study the area’s plants, animal life, and geography, and to establish trade with local American Indian tribes. The expedition returned to St. Louis to report its findings to Jefferson, with maps, sketches, and journals in hand. Meriwether Lewis (1774-1809) was an American explorer, soldier, politician, and public administrator. He was born in Albemarle County, near Monticello, August 18, 1774. He joined the Virginia militia during the Whiskey Rebellion, was promoted to ensign, and transferred to the regular army, later serving in the Chosen Rifle Company under Captain William Clark. In 1801 he became President Thomas Jefferson’s private secretary, and was selected by the President to command an expedition to explore the western territories acquired from France in the Louisiana Purchase (1803). President Thomas Jefferson appointed him Governor of Upper Louisiana in 1806, serving until his death by gunshot wounds at Grinder’s Stand, seventy miles southwest of Nashville, Tennessee (October 11, 1809) in what was either a murder or suicide. His signature is extremely scarce as a result of his untimely death at the age of 35. William Clark (1770-1838) was an American explorer, soldier, Indian agent, and territorial governor. A much younger brother of George Rogers Clark, he was born in Caroline County, Virginia (August 1, 1770) and grew up in pre-statehood Kentucky before later settling in what became the state of Missouri. Clark was a planter and slaveholder; he even brought one of his slaves, York, with him on the Expedition. Prior to the Expedition, he served in a militia and the United States Army under General Anthony Wayne and fought at the Battle of Fallen Timbers. Although subordinate to Lewis on the Expedition he made major contributions especially concerning river navigation, cartography (Clark drew all the expeditionary maps). He was especially significant in the relations he developed with the Shoshone Indians. He hired a Canadian trapper, Toussaint Charbonneau, whose wife, Sacagawea, was a Shoshone who Charbonneau supposedly had won gambling. Sacagawea proved invaluable to the Expedition because of her rapport with the Indian tribes they encountered across the West. Afterward, Clark served as Brigadier General of the Louisiana Territory militia and as governor of the Missouri Territory. From 1822 until his death in 1838, he was Superintendent of Indian Affairs.


Picnic on the Hudson by Robert Walter Weir


ROBERT WALTER WEIR (1803-1889) Landscape and portrait painter; drawing instructor at West Point for many decades. One of the giants in the Hudson River School. Oil on chamfered board, 4¾ x 8³/8 inches, and 10¾ x14½ inches with period frame. Signed lower left, “R W Weir”. Study for his famous work, “Picnic on the Hudson”


The Iconic Painting of West Point by William James Bennett

William James Bennett [1787-1844] West Point From PhillipstownOil on canvas, 18½ x 22¾ inches.

Signed and titled by artist at bottom of painting; also titled on spandrel and on front label. Bennett was known as an engraver and etcher but his paintings of the Hudson River are strong and precise. This particular picture was reproduced by Currier & Ives and copied many times. It is an iconic view of West Point and perhaps the most famous. Exhibited: Putnam County Historical Society Ex Collections: Iroquois Brands, H. Richard Dietrich.


Rare Period 1865 Drawing of John Wilkes Booth

An unusual original pen and ink drawing on paper of John Wilkes Booth. It has the legend “John Wilkes Booth” below the image, measures 15¼ x 11¼ inches; directly below the image is the name of print makers, “F. Sala & Co.,” preceded by the name “Berlin” with a comma after the name. The image is signed, “B” which leads me to believe that is the company artist named Berlin. First quarter of 1865, making this an original period drawing of the assassin. Extremely rare and desirable; a must for any Lincoln assassination collector.
F. Sala was a German publisher of lithographs based in Berlin in the mid through late 19th century. They produced portraits, religious and genre subjects, and scenes from literary works. The NPG has the only print based on this drawing I could find: and they do not say much about it. Note the German mss pencil markings undoubtedly written after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln at the hands of Booth, at the lower right (see blowup); there is a date “1841” on the German notation and “Cincinnati” probably incorrectly giving Booth’s date and place of birth which was actually Bel Aire, MD, 1838. Also the name “Lincoln” appears in the German mss.


Mario Russo (Naples, 1925-Rome 2000)

Oil Painting on Canvas “Hallowe’en” 22½ x 39½ inches Signed “M. Russo 53”, LR Original Frame and Brass Nameplate

Modernistic whimsical painting of a Halloween celebration in Times Square. Some signs above the crowd read, “New York Times”, “Coca Cola”, “Russo’s Show”, “Rita is Back”, “Toys Town”, “Poker”, and “Photo”. Mario Russo studied at the Art Institute of Naples (1948). In 1950 he moved to Rome and lived in the Trastevere neighborhood. He started painting in Canada in 1977. In 1984 Russo made several paintings relating to Chinese and Japanese theatre. The Brasche Palace in Rome hosted a retrospective of his work in 1992. His work is in numerous museums and private collections throughout the world including the Guggenheim and Museum of Modern Art in New York City. This is one of his master works which seldom come on the market.

Provenance: The Helena Rubenstein Collection
The Helena Rubenstein auction, Part Two, Parke-Bernet Galleries, Wednesday, April 27, 1966, lot 598, as “Hallowe’en”, and pictured on the opposite page. Catalog included with the painting. From the original purchaser from that sale.


Scarce Document Twice Signed by Richard Stockton,
the First Person from New Jersey to sign the Declaration of Independence

Richard Stockton (USA, 1730 - 1781)
Autograph Document Signed twice, [New Jersey]. April 2, and May 16th, 1762. Stockton had done some legal work for the Leaming family, prominent and wealthy people from the extreme southern part of New Jersey. The first part reads: “Recd. From Mr. Aaron Leaming (Junior) of Cape May the sum of 22 pounds in behalf of himself and his Brethren Thomas Leaming and Jeremiah Leaming respecting lands claimed by Mr. Spicer {probably Jacob Spicer, a Leaming in-law} in Consequence of a purchase made by him of the West Jersey Society...in Cumberland County & Cape May, the Boundaries or Title already may be disputed by Israel Pemberton...” Israel Pemberton, a leader in the Philadelphia Quaker community, went into exile during the Revolutionary War. In the second part of the document Stockton receives “one Spanish pistole in addition to the above fee...” Autograph material of Richard Stockton has become somewhat scarce, as he was one of the first of the Signers to die at the early age of 51. Thomas Leaming, mentioned in the first part of the document, may have been a Captain in the Pennsylvania Militia (1776-1777) but little else is known of the Leaming family except that they were major landholders in Southern New Jersey.