PATINATED BRONZE BUST OF GEORGE WASHINGTON, AFTER HOUDON, USED IN THE DESIGN OF THE U.S. TWO CENTS POSTAGE STAMP, 1883.
Sold: $8,640 ($7,200)
The left shoulder marked “NATL. FINE ART FOUNDRY/ M.J. POWER FOUNDER N.Y.”; the right shoulder “HOUDON. LIFE-CAST.” Raised on a Neoclassical pedestal with scrolled shell-form base and crossed acorn and oak leaf swags. Height of bust 18 ½ inches, height on pedestal 24 ½ inches. The United States two-cents stamp with George Washington’s bust portrait engraved and printed by the American Bank Note Company, was first issued on October 1, 1883. Included with this lot is a framed letter dated 16th June 1883 from the American Bank Note Company thanking Maurice J. Power of the National Fine Art Foundry, New York City, for the loan of the bust to design the stamp. A proof of the stamp is framed with the letter. Together with additional correspondence regarding the bust. (The letter not illustrated)My dear Sir,I return by our messenger the bust of Washington you so kindly loaned us, with it a proof of the new U.S. 2 c. stamp bearing the head./ We feel very much pleased with the results, as also do the Government officials at Washington./ You will please accept our thanks. If at any time we can reciprocate don’t hesitate to call on us. Very resp’y yours, William Main Smillie
Provenance: Mr. & Mrs. Maurice J. Power and by descent in the family; Frederick Boucher, New York, 1940; Sotheby Parke-Bernet, New York, May 19, 1972.