1896 ANHEUSER BUSCH BREWERY “CUSTERS LAST FIGHT” SIGN
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1896 ANHEUSER BUSCH BREWERY “CUSTERS LAST FIGHT” SIGN Picture(s) and Description:
Very Rare and stunningly beautiful, original 1896, first printing of the famous, Anheuser-Busch (makers of Budweiser Beer) Chromolithograph Point of Sale Advertising Sign titled "Custer's Last Fight" mounted on its original canvas backing and framed in its original, elaborate, gilt gesso frame with molded gesso Anheuser-Busch label on the top stretcher. This fantastic Chromolithograph Advertising Print measures approx. 48” x 38” (including the original, gold gilt, gesso advertising frame) - the image size is actually 42” x 32” and the chromolithographed sheet is mounted on its original, oil painting type canvas back. The scene on this Chromolithograph is considered by most historians to be the depiction of the Battle of the Little Big Horn that most Americans (even to this day) believe to be the most accurate and historically correct rendering of the final moments of General George Armstrong Custer and the men of the 7th U.S. cavalry (even though the depiction is entirely inaccurate and a totally fabricated, artist's creation). The Image depicts Custer and a handful of his men being overrun and slaughtered by an overwhelming hoard of Native American Warriors. Beneath the Image is a legend identifying the major figures depicted in the image as well as text that reads "Custer's Last Fight" / "Taken From the Artist's Sketches / The Original Painting by Cassilly Adams has been Presented to the Seventh U.S. Cavalry by Anheuser-Busch Brewery Association, St. Louis, Mo., U.S.A.". The Image is copyright March 30, 1896 by Adolphus Busch and is signed by the lithographer - the Milwaukee Lithographing Co. of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The original Advertising frame features a molded gesso label at the center of the top stretcher that reads “Anheuser-Busch Brewery Ass’n. / St. Louis, Mo., U.S.A.”. The history of this important depiction of the battle of the Little Bighorn is well documented. In 1876 Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer and 210 of his men are killed at the Battle of the Little Bighorn. That same year, the Anheuser-Busch Brewing Association begins production of Budweiser beer in the United States. In 1884 Cassilly Adams paints the first version of "Custer's Last Fight," measuring 16 feet 5 inches by 9 feet 6 inches on a wagon canvas for a traveling exhibit. Four years later Adolphus Busch conceives of an advertising campaign based on the Battle of the Little Bighorn. He purchases Adams' Custer painting, but is unsure whether it is right for his planned ad campaign. In 1889 Busch employs the Milwaukee Lithographing Co. to make prints of Adams' painting. F. Otto Becker, an employee of the lithographer, is hired by Busch to make a master painting of "Custer's Last Fight," from the which the famous advertising lithograph would be created. Busch pays for the painting but never takes possession of it and it remains in Becker's hands. In 1895 Anheuser-Busch makes a gift of the Adams painting to the 7th Cavalry during a ceremony at Fort Riley, Kan. The painting is moved to Fort Grant, Ariz., briefly and then put in storage. In 1896 the Milwaukee Lithographing Co. uses the Becker painting to create lithographic plates, but must first cut it into eight sections so that a number of artists can make the intricate color plates at the same time. Shortly thereafter, lithographic reproduction begins. The print contains a border advertisement for the Anheuser-Busch Brewing Association, which would change its name to the Anheuser-Busch Co. in 1919. The extremely popular poster is distributed to saloons, bars and restaurants across the nation. This stunningly beautiful, first edition of the famous Anheuser Busch “Custer’s Last Fight” Advertising Print is mounted on canvas as originally manufactured and is framed in its original, gilt gesso, oil painting style frame. The Print has never been removed from the frame and the chromolithography is of the VERY highest quality. Although we have owned a couple of examples of this wonderful Anheuser-Busch / Budweiser Beer Sign over the past 30 years, we have never owned a first printing in its original advertising frame. The frame alone is an important piece of Anheuser Busch advertising and the 1st Edition Chromolithograph is an important piece of early, American “popularized” History. The Chromolithograph is in good to very good condition. The overall surface is well preserved without the typically encountered staining and excessive surface darkening. There are, however, 6 surface tears in the print (the longest measuring approx. 5”) - 3 that affect the paper surface only and 2 that are also tears in the canvas backing. The most visible is a 5” tear along the bottom edge of the sheet in the area of the printed legend which appears to be rather recent. There is also a small tear with a small amount of paper loss at the center of the lower portion of the sheet (this is the other quite noticeable tear and it too appears to be quite recent). There are 2, tight spider shaped tears and one short straight line tear at the upper portion of the sheet - two of these have a old tape repair on the back of the canvas (there is no discoloration associated with any of the tears). A minor repair and a small amount of surface touch-up to the 2 most visible tears will result is a very attractive Display Piece. Should the buyer wish to have this important, early Chromolithograph completely restored and conserved, we will be happy pass on information about outstanding Restoration and Preservation firms - one here in Massachusetts and another in Atlanta, Georgia As mentioned above, this wonderful, original Budweiser Beer Advertising Sign has never been removed from its original frame!! The frame has the complete, molded gesso advertising label. This is the earliest edition of the original frame (and of the Custer Chromolithograph) - this frame has the “Anheuser-Busch Brewery Ass’n” name along the top stretcher in applied gesso and although there is some chipping to the text and to the edges of the frame, the overall “look” of the frame is very attractive and quite well preserved (see the scans below). An outstanding and important, 1896, 1st Edition of the Anheuser-Busch Brewing Co. Chromolithographed Advertising Image of the Battle of the Little Bighorn / “Custer’s Last Fight” and a fantastic addition to any collection!! Overseasshippping is extra and cost will be quoted at bidders request. Massachusetts residents must add 5% sales tax. Insurance is required on all items selling for $400 or more and optional on items selling for under $400 (but highly recommended. If you do not want insurance please let us know. Please check out other early and interesting items offered by this seller on ebay. Click Here to See Our Items We Have for Sale in the eBay Gallery Important Notes about Shipping Charges and the eBay "Detailed Seller Rating" Star System: The amount quoted for Shipping & Handling is calculated by eBay and is equal to the EXACT amount charged by the Post Office plus a $1.00 "packing fee" - the $1.00 fee is our only compensation for the virgin packing materials we use on all of our professionally packaged boxes as well as our cost for the salaried help that does most of our packing - as I am sure you can see, we make NO profit on the Shipping charges and, in fact, our costs are usually greater than the $1.00 fee. We have NEVER requested Feedback from our customers as we were taught that "fishing for compliments" was impolite but the new eBay Detailed Rating System has put us in a rather tight spot. Most buyers are unaware that eBay bases a monthly fee discount on a Seller's "Star" rating. A monthly average of "4.6 Stars" (in any one of the four "Star" categories) costs us approximately $400 in additional eBay Fees - that's $400 above what we would pay if we had a "4.8 Star" average in all 4 "Star" categories!! As a consequence we hope you do not find us rude to ask that if you are happy with our items, our service, and our packing & shipping please be sure to use the "Star" rating system and remember that a "5 Star" rating is the only way we can qualify for eBay's fee reduction program. , Powered by eBay Turbo ListerThe free listing tool. List your items fast and easy and manage your active items.