Lot 307 of 395:
1813 letter from the first prominent American Banknote Artist  

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Lot closed - Sold For (Includes Buyers Premium):$1,080
$700 - $1,000

Autograph Letter Signed - 1813 letter from the first prominent American Banknote Artist, with small sketch

Fairman, G.[ideon]



October 4, 1813


1 page + stampless address leaf (mounted on backing paper). 

To G.A. Worth, Albany, NY (Cashier of the Farmers and Mechanics Bank) “…We are determined to give you a very genteel plate indeed – that is one reason that you are deprived of it so long – then we have two or three constantly waiting for new Banks etc. I have given you a new device – for instance [small drawing] – a master mechanic in the front giving or making his plans and in the background, a nymph of Ceres with her wheat and sickle – you can have it in three weeks from this, perhaps in less time…would it not be well to forward your paper for the presenting for we move (now a days) never trust it to other hands for there the credit flies…” Gideon Fairman (1774-1827) was America’s first prominent banknote engraver. After moving from Albany to Philadelphia in 1810, his firm became the premier engravers of American banknote vignettes. It was to Fairman in 1824 that 29 year-old John James Audubon presented, for a New Jersey banknote, the drawing of a running grouse – considered the first published illustration of the struggling artist. Fairman died three years later. Rare – the only other Fairman autograph we could locate in institutional collections is an 1812 letter without artistic content.

Lot Amendments

A bit yellowed; very good.

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