Pirate illustration from "Howard Pyle's Book of Pirates" (1921): rare, 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 in “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  
Whiteglove packaging and shipping approximately $30.00

“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 the original work was colorized, Harper’s reproduced it as a binary (B&W) photolithograph. 

The second primary publication was Howard Pyle’s Book of Pirates, which was assembled by Merle Johnson ten years after the artist’s death. Johnson’s volume contained “fiction, fact & fancy concerning the Bucaneers & Marooners of the Spanish Main from the writing & pictures of Howard Pyle.” Johnson acknowledged these other 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 does not mention “The True Captain Kidd” by John Denison Champlin.

Since Pyle added color washes to “Buried Treasure,” it is possible that Johnson reproduced the original work. But since the illustrations in the source publications Johnson credits were all “binary,” it seems the other pictures in Johnson’s compilation were colorized by his printer while preparing Johnson's manuscript in 1921.

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