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R. Ostrander Smith Original Artwork

 
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Pillar Of The Community
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Posted 12/30/2018   1:05 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add southpaw to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Below is an interesting item I'm trying to get a bit more information about. I'm sure most of you are familiar with Raymond Ostrander Smith, and I'm wondering if this was a model for an engraving. It is graphite on board, rimmed with black india ink and shellacked. It looks like it was once in a circular frame. On the back is the note in pencil "Gift of Mrs. Raymond Ostrander Smith". It is approx 7" x 8". Thanks!


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Posted 12/30/2018   8:06 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add stampfan9 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Wow! That is one gorgeous interpretation of our Lady Liberty.
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Robert
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1054 Posts
Posted 01/05/2019   4:50 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add GregAlex to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
According to "The Engraver's Line", Smith started working for American Bank Note Co. in 1887, then joined the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, but returned to ABNCo in 1902 and remained there until his death in 1933. This liberty head looks somewhat familiar, but I can't point to any specific engraved match from that time period. I'll keep an eye out. The back says "20th Century" so most likely this would have been done for ABNCo.
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Edited by GregAlex - 01/05/2019 4:52 pm
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Posted 01/06/2019   02:31 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add GregAlex to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Well, that was easier than I thought! I found three banknote engravings that may have been based on your illustration by Ostrander Smith. All of these are from the USPS Commemorative Panel series, which is a terrific library of intaglio vignettes and portraits by American Bank Note Co. and other banknote companies.

The first one almost certainly used your drawing as a model, however, it was done by Jeffries Bank Note Co. and would have to have been engraved much later, probably in the 1940s or '50s. It's a mirror image, so the engraver was working from the original art, since the engraved plate prints in reverse.



The other two are both by ABNCo. These may have used aspects of the drawing, like the Phrygian cap, but they are considerably different. The first one was created at least as early as 1929, maybe earlier. The second is probably from the 1940s. It's also possible these were modeled on entirely different illustrations.





I'm not sure who the engravers were on any of these. I'll look through the rest of my collection and see if anything else turns up.
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Edited by GregAlex - 01/06/2019 02:35 am
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Posted 01/06/2019   5:40 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add GregAlex to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Found one more -- by yet *another* banknote firm. This is from a municipal bond engraved and printed by EA Wright Bank Note in the 1930s. Miss Liberty is facing right, so this may have been a copy of a copy. So many versions leads me to believe that the original artwork may have been published so that a number of engravers could have seen it and used it as a model.

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