Chicago Antiques Guide

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“Presidents of the United States” Lithograph by T&E.H. Ensign

Posted Friday, February 17 by Brian

Presidents Ensign.jpgWe have a a 30” wide by 41” high very old print. “Presidents of the United States” Ballot-Box Union. Published by T&E.H. Ensign 160 Nassau S.N.Y. There are 26 state vignettes pictured and the last president listed is President Elect Polk. Previously was President Tyler is listed as retired March 4, 1845. There is some water damage to the bottom and there is a crease (fold line) through the middle.

This lithograph was printed between the election in November 1844 and the inauguration in March 1845, which accounts for the unusual wording about "President Elect Polk" and Tyler being "retired" as of March 4, 1845.

Because this is a rather rare item, and not something that I have ever handled, I contacted Chris Lane at The Philadelphia Print Shop Chris is the Historical Print and Map specialist on the Antiques Roadshow.

"This is an interesting item, but quite similar to other Ensign items. They issued (along with a number of other publishers) a number of broadsides on political and historical subjects. This included maps and prints like this.

"The condition is something of an issue, but all the broadside prints of this nature are fairly rare and are mostly found in not great shape. I would say that if we had this print in our shop (in this condition), we'd probably put something like $650-$750 on it (assuming it is not laid down or that it doesn't have some other condition problems I can't see). Note also that it does look like it may have been trimmed a bit, and if this is the case--where the trimming affects the printed image--then that would take something off the value."

Thanks again to Chris for helping us with the value. Please don't contact Chris for "Free Appraisals", unless you are interested in selling your item(s), that is what I do. If you do intend to sell your items to a dealer, remember that a fair wholesale price is usually no more than half of the retail value.

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