antique prints, maps and watercolors

after Winslow Homer (Snap the Whip) New York: Harpers Weekly, September 20, 1873. $895.00

“Snap the Whip”

In the 19th century before photography was commonly used, newspapers and periodicals were illustrated with wood engravings. Many of America's finest artists earned a paycheck by working for the newspaper, creating original drawings and designs which were engraved onto wooden blocks by equally talented engravers. These wonderfully detailed original prints provide fascinating glimpses into the daily life of the period depicting people from all walks of life and in every social stratum.

This engraving was based upon the work of the great American 19th century artist Winslow Homer. Certainly, the most popular American artist and illustrator of his day, Winslow Homer’s engravings (in particular, those of New England coast scenes) are among the most highly collected and most valuable published in the Harper's Weekly. The warmth and charm with which he interpreted the American experience has enchanted generation after generation. Renewed interest in his illustrations has led to many Homer exhibitions recently at the Philadelphia Museum of Art “American Watercolor in the Age of Homer and Sargent.”

Though the print was published just after the Civil War ended, this is a timeless image. “Snap the Whip” or “Crack the Whip” is a game familiar to generations of children: a line of players join hands and run in a zig-zag motion, trying to “snap” the last person off of the line. Of course, if you are the second to last person in the chain, you don’t want the last person to fall off—because then you’re the one on the end!

A beloved image from an iconic American artist.

Double page wood engraving uncolored as issued.
15 x 22 inches sheet.
Some age to paper, otherwise very good condition.