Imitation Charcoal Sketches of Black AmericansBy

Imitation Charcoal Sketches of Black Americans

A southern antique reproduction wholesaler offered a series of Black American images resembling original pencil or charcoal sketches. The series depicts five different pre-Civil War plantation images of slave life.

At first glance, the images are quite close in appearance to true pencil and charcoal sketches. But under a 5X or more loupe, you see that the images are made of a fine pattern of black dots instead of the continuous nearly solid marks made by pencil lead or charcoal. The other clue to their recent age is the awkward way in which they are cropped.

All the prints are 11 x 14" on ivory colored paper with the title along the bottom. The paper also fluoresces a mottled white. There are five different scenes available, four are shown here. The fifth, titled "Ashes to Ashes," depicts a grave side service. Price was $2 each wholesale.

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Fig. 1 Title: "Lunchtime." Note the cut off ankle at arrow.

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Fig. 2 Title: "The Guitar Picker". Note the crop in upper left hand corner that removes a man's head.

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Fig.3 Title: " Midday"

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Fig. 4 Title "Sausage Tomorrow."