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Very Rare, Exquisite Aquatint of Antigua In the Context of Emancipation
[Basel, 1835]

Antigua/ Slave Emancipation.  STOBWASSER, L./ HURLIMANN  [Basel, 1835Vue de Gracehill dans I’Isle d’Antigoa aux Indes occidentales.  8 ¾ x 11 1/8 inches.  Aquatint with fine original color; slight mended edge split, few spots, else excellent.      

Rare--possibly separately published (see below). A luminously colored view that evokes the island’s distinctively hilly and mountainous terrain.  The work appeared at a significant moment in history of Antigua’s black population and, in fact, relates directly to that history.  As indicated below the view’s title, it was published for the benefit of the Antiguan Moravian mission, which had been established on the island as early as 1742.  Both on Antigua and elsewhere, Moravians forcefully supported both the education and emancipation of slaves.  In 1834, a year before this view appeared, slavery was declared illegal in all British colonies, and Antigua was the first place where slaves were actually emancipated. Moravian missionaries were very active in aiding the integration of manumitted slaves into the general society.  This view depicts the Moravian estate called Grace Hill, located near the island’s capital of St. John; it is now part of the village of Liberta.  In the view is a compound of houses to quarter emancipated slaves.  In the foreground are two black or mulatto figures in European dress on either side of a hunched black woman with three children carrying provisions.  Perhaps this human tableau was meant to contrast the pre-and post-slavery conditions of the island’s blacks.

The view is part of the 4 views illustrating Johann Heibrich Stobwasser’s bilingual ( French and German)   Vues des etablissemens missionaires fondés par la Communauté évangélique des Fréres-Unis .. published in Basel by Birmann in 1830-1835 (?). The work is of extreme rarity. We could locate two copies in OCLC, at the John Carter Brown Library and at the Beinecke (which is incomplete: missing title and text).  It is also possible that the views were also separately published, as this one appears to have been.

Price: $1,200.00

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