THOMAS NAST (1840-1902) was an immigrant from Bavaria who, by the latter portion of the 19th century, was considered one of the foremost political cartoonists of the age. A humorist, illustrator, commentator on the events of the day, he is credited with creating the image of Uncle Sam, the Republican elephant and Democratic donkey, and, even the familiar image of Santa Claus as we know it today, having illustrated Clement Moore's "The Night Before Christmas". The present scarce and desirable image has become familiar and iconic, created in woodblock for the January 1, 1881 issue of Harper's Weekly. Measuring 21" by 14 3/4" inside the mat and 27 1/4" by 20 1/2" as framed with black mat and red metal, this is a commanding work in good condition. There is a central horizontal fold, a similar vertical fold, and a water stain along the top portion which is not all that easily visible. Around the water stain is some puckering of the paper. The stain and puckering could no doubt be professionally removed or minimized. A major antique print shop offers the work with the addition of modern hand coloring, which makes the image even more impressive. Guaranteed to be the original from 1881---viewed up close one can see the impression of the letters from the type on the reverse, penetrating towards the front and the viewer. Not examined out of the frame. .
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