GHOST OF A DOLLAR OR THE BANKERS SURPRIZE. THE,

image69949

William Charles


Ghost of a Dollar or the Bankers Surprize. The,

Etching, c.1808.
Image size 12 9/16 x 9 1/8" (31.9 x 23.2 cm).
Good condition. Original handcoloring
LOCATION: New York City

Inventory Number: 69949
Price: $3,950.00
Publisher :
W[illiam] Charles Del et Sculp, [Philadelphia, c. 1808].

In this very rare image “Charles pays satirical respects to the famous Philadelphia merchant and banker Stephen Girard. He is portrayed as being amazed at the appearance of a Spanish Dollar, and conjuring it to drop into his till that he may hear it chink.” (Murrell) The print is likely a reference to Girard’s financial difficulties during the Embargo imposed by President Jefferson in1807, among the consequences of which was a dearth of hard currency.

William Charles (1776-1820) was an engraver in line, stipple and aquatint active in New York and Philadelphia early in the 19th century. He is best known for his caricatures, most of which addressed events during the War of 1812. Stauffer lists over 15 such images, a few lampooning American sectional differences or military incompetence, but most tweaking Great Britain for its various defeats at American hands. Murrell asserts that Charles’ political cartoons “arouse[d] more public interest than any produced in America before.”
18th-19th Century Subjects , Caricatures and Satirical , Political Caricatures

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