Brunk Auctions
Live Auction

Premier Auction - Session II

Sat, Mar 26, 2022 09:00AM EDT
Lot 923

Boston School, The Liberty Tree

Estimate: $100,000 - $150,000

Bid Increments

Price Bid Increment
$0 $25
$100 $50
$1,000 $100
$2,000 $200
$3,000 $250
$5,000 $500
$10,000 $1,000
$20,000 $2,000
$50,000 $5,000
$100,000 $10,000

(18th/19th century)

The Liberty Tree, unsigned, the popular patriotic symbol from the 1760s, with a notice on a tree for "Meeting, Liberty Tree, 12 o'clk", depicting the Liberty Tree with colonial figures pouring tea down the throat of a red-coated Englishman, unsigned, oil on fine linen, 59-1/2 x 49-3/4 in.; simple wood frame, 52-1/2 x 62 in.

Note: This image bears a direct resemblance to a mezzotint in the Mable Brady Garvan Collection at Yale University Art Gallery (1946.9.368), originally published in 1774 in London and available in the colonies in 1776. The print is a satire of the colonists' unhappiness with the politics of the day, and their unwillingness to abide by unfair laws.

See: McCullough, David G., Jon Butler, and Helen A. Cooper. Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness: American Art from the Yale University Art Gallery. New Haven, Conn: Yale University Press, 2007, ill. page 28, discussed page 77.

Provenance: Northeast Auctions, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, February 24-26, 2006, lot 572, sold for $182,000


very fragile linen, old linen lining or backing, stretcher marks, discoloration overall, areas of fluorescence, creases, surface tear and area of paint loss at lower edge, horizontal seam or old crease at center, old repairs; frame with wear