Bountiful still life of tropical fruits on a tabletop, emphasizing the rounded forms. Piled together are a pineapple, red and yellow bananas, oranges, lemons and grapes. Such still lifes were a popular theme for Currier & Ives, featuring fruits of different seasons, fruit vases or fruits and flowers. At least 40 such prints were produced.
The lithography firm of Currier & Ives was founded in 1834 by Nathaniel Currier as N. Currier, Lithographer, and based in New York. In 1852, he brought his brother-in-law, James Merritt Ives, into the business and renamed the firm Currier & Ives five years later. They were extremely prolific and highly successful, producing almost 7,500 different separately issued art prints through the 19th century until 1907, aptly advertising themselves as "Print-makers to the American People." Their prints were issued in either small, medium or large folio, though some particularly popular images were issued in more than one size. Dozens of American artists in the mid 19th century painted primarily for lithographic reproduction by Currier & Ives and other firms. To please a broad audience, the firm presented a warmly positive vision of America, frequently sentimental, and sometimes with a touch of humor. Currier & Ives prints generally portrayed the American landscape, scenery and landmarks, including the westward expansion, as well as daily life in both urban and rural settings. Their sporting and maritime subjects were particularly popular. These prints are now highly collectible as records of American history, as fine works of American art, and for their decorative appeal.
Full publication information: Entered according to Act of Congress in the Year 1871 by Currier & Ives in the Office of the Librarian of Congress at Washington. Published by Currier and Ives, 125 Nassau St. New York.
Condition: Generally very good, with the usual light toning, wear, soiling, soft creases.
Bonfante-Warren, Alexandra. Currier & Ives: Portraits of a Nation. New York: Friedman/Fairfax, 1998. pp. 9, 23-41.
Conningham, Frederic A. Currier and Ives Prints: An Illustrated Check List. New York: Crown, 1949. 2203.