Howard Pyle story illustration for Harper's Monthly (1902): beautifully framed antique


"Buried Treasure"
    Illustration for Howard Pyle's Book
          of Pirates
    Compiled by Merle Johnson
          from works by Howard Pyle
    New York. Harper & Brothers. 1921.      
    Originally published as an illustration for 
         “The True Captain Kidd”
         by John Denison Champlin, Jr.
    Harper’s Monthly. December 1902 Issue.    

    Image Size: H 10.00” x W 8.00”
    Matted & Framed:  H 17.00” x W 15.00”
    Framed Price: $225.00  
    Packaging and shipping 
       approximately $25.00

“Buried Treasure” appeared in two primary publications. The first was as an illustration for “The True Captain Kidd” by John Denison Champlin, Jr., which appeared in the December 1902 issue of Harper’s Monthly. Pyle expert Ian Schoenherr notes that Pyle produced the original illustration “in color in crayon and watercolor (or something like that).” While Pyle may have added color washes to the original work, Harper’s reproduced it as a binary (B&W) photolithograph.

         The second primary publication was Howard Pyle’s Book of Pirates, which Merle Johnson assembled ten years after the artist’s death. Johnson’s volume contained “fiction, fact & fancy concerning the Buccaneers & Marooners of the Spanish Main from the writing & pictures of Howard Pyle.” Johnson acknowledged these sources: “Blueskin, the Pirate” (published by The Northwestern Miller in December 1890), “Captain Scarfield,” (published by The Northwestern Miller in December 1900), and Jack Ballister's Fortunes (published by St Nicholas between Apr 1894 and Sep 1895), “Dead Men tell No Tales” (published by Collier’s Weekly in its 17 Dec 1899 issue), and “the Burning Ship” (published by Collier’s Weekly in its 10 Dec 1904 issue). He did not mention “The True Captain Kidd” by John Denison Champlin.

         Assuming Pyle did as Ian Schoenherr said and added color washes to his original illustration, and considering that Johnson did not cite “The True Captain Kidd” as a picture source, it seems Johnson located the original work and used it in his book. What happened to it after that is unknown.

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