American Country Life (October Afternoon)


Product No. currier-ives010

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This historical lithograph is from the famous publishers Currier & Ives. It was a New York publishing firm that operated from 1835 to 1907. It produced over 7,000 different lithographs and was one of the most prolific printmakers of the era. They are often referred to as “Printmakers to the People.”

The majority of plates produced were hand-colored lithographs, but a few were produced as chromolithographs or without color. They used only premium materials to produce their prints including stones from Bavaria (where lithography was invented). They imported lithographic crayons from France and colors from Austria. They invented their own superior lithographic crayon as well.

Currier & Ives printed images of genre scenes, progressive technology, American nationalism, historical scenes, and leisure activities. The pair were able to utilize artists and expert craftsman to produce sought after images from the likes of Maurer Palmer, James E. Butterworth, George Durrie, Otto Knirsch, Charles Parsons, Napoleon Sarony, Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait, William Walker, and Thomas Worth. They were shrewd businessmen who leveraged the cost of their process and sold their products through door-to-door sales, street vendors, and even overseas distribution.

Nathaniel Currier (1813-1888) began his shop and issued his first prints in 1835. He was joined in 1852 by his brother-in-law, James Merritt Ives (1824-1895), in 1852. The firm of Currier & Ives published until 1907.

The Currier & Ives prints are marked with the address of printing, and this typically helps denote in which years the lithograph was published, as shown below:

1834: Currier & Stodart, 137 Broadway
1835: N. Currier, 1 Wall Street
1836-7: N. Currier, 148 Nassau Street
1838-56: N. Currier, 152 Nassau Street & 2 Spruce Street
1857-65: Currier & Ives, 152 Nassau Street & 2 Spruce Street
1866-94: Currier & Ives, 152 Nassau Street & 33 Spruce Street
1894-6: Currier & Ives, 108 Fulton Street and 33 Spruce Street
1896-1907: Currier & Ives, 33 Spruce Street

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