American Homestead Winter. Currier and Ives, c. 1868

A man carrying a load of firing wood followed by his faithful dog, a solitary cow standing near its barn in the background, a man leaving the side door of his house carrying a bucket, and a man and woman leaving the home in a sleigh carriage driven by two horses down a country road – all orchestrate to create the nostalgic beauty which Currier and Ives created as the nation attempted to forget the pains of the Civil War.

Undoubtedly a New England vignette, it resonates with Americans from all parts, especially those with a connection to the seasonal changes which form the basis of this classic series of 4 prints published c. 1868. Titled American Homestead Winter, this print comprised one of three others depicting rural life in America during the mid 19th century.

This example is well above average in condition, suffering only modestly in discoloration which is inevitable with prints of this age. The hand coloring is neat and careful, but has enough naivete to stir the reveries of a by-gone era, one even vanishing at the time of this print which found America on the brink of the second industrial revolution and its drive toward urbanization.

This delightful print is among the Best New 50 Currier and Ives output which spanned 1835-1907, and easily foreshadowed the folksy charm of Norman Rockwell’s justly famous illustrations.

Make this print part of your annual holiday traditions or keep it in your permanent collection. The Met, Springfield Museum, and Library of Congress have it – why not you?

Image dimensions: 12 3/8" x 7 7/8" (approximate). Framed: 17" x 12 7/8" (approximate)

Please note the damage to the frame. In three corners there are small chips to the veneer. I will provide close-ups as desired. Even though the frame is period appropriate, we suspect that the new owner will replace it. The print has not been examined outside of the frame. 

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