3 Magic Lantern Slides War Of 1812 Star-spangled Banner Art By Joseph Boggs Beal For SaleThree Wood Mount Magic Lantern Glass Slides,
Late 19th, Early 20th Century
Illustrating Verses of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Three slides with artwork by American master lantern-slide artist Joseph Boggs Beale. Beale was a great grandnephew of Betsy Ross. Who better to illustrate “The Star Spangled Banner?” (Our standard description of Beale can be found at the end of this description.) All three slides demonstrate that Beale had seen the actual Fort McHenry Flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to write the poem that, in 1931, became the official national anthem of the USA. In the years after the war, the 15-star, 15 stripe Flag had lost one of its stars and sections of its lower stripes from one end, as portions of fabric were cut from the Flag and given away as souvenirs. Beale assumed the missing portions were battle damage (who would suspect souvenir hunters?) and included the damage in his lantern slide illustrations). First Slide Labeled: “1. Oh say can you see, by the dawn’s early light”
A great War of 1812 scene showing the British bombardment of Fort McHenry from the deck of the ship where Francis Scott Key was held prisoner.
This slide has a diagonal crack in it, but the crack is almost invisible when the slide is projected. Second Slide Labeled: “3. On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep.”
From the song’s second verse. (The song has four verses. Who knew, right?) Third Slide Labeled: “4. And where is that band who so vauntingly swore?”
From the third verse. Vauntingly swore? Really? Joseph Boggs Beale (1841 - 1926) was one of the few nineteenth-century artists who created artwork expressly for reproduction on magic lantern slides. He created his first lantern-specific images in 1881 and continued to produce new ones well into the first years of the twentieth-century. A native of Philadelphia and a great-grandnephew of Betsy Ross, Beale created thousands (by the latest count, at least 2,100) of magic lantern images illustrating American history, epic poems by popular American poets, Biblical stories, song lyrics, and genre scenes of everyday American life. His work for magic lantern slides was done entirely in black, white and shades of gray. It was up to the various optical companies that reproduced his work to tint the individual slides as they saw fit. Sometimes the companies released the same slide in different versions: untinted monochrome - the way Beale had created the original art - being the least expensive; a slide colored with a limited palette being intermediate; and a full-color slide, tinted by someone with an understanding of color theory, at the top of the line. Thus it is possible to collect the same slide in a number of variations.
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