“Carting Cotton” Vignette Die Proof, by J.W. Ehninger, American Bank Note Co. 1859
Engraved for the American Bank Note Co in 1859 after a painting by JW Ehninger, this die proof depicts the loading of a bale of cotton onto a single horse drawn cart. This vignette appeared on the 1873 South Carolina RR Company note/tickets. An original 1800’s item, not a reproduction or modern copy.
John Whetten Ehninger (July 22, 1827 New York City – January 22, 1889 Saratoga, New York) was a United States painter and etcher. He graduated from Columbia University in 1847. He was a pupil of Couture in Paris 1848–1849, and afterward studied at Düsseldorf and other art centres 1851–1852. Ehninger moved to Europe after graduating from Columbia University. There, he pursued his academic training in France, Germany, and Italy. A budding artist, he was eager to learn more about the old masters and to hone his skills. During his time there he developed a penchant for drawing scenes of daily life, a trait that was to remain for the rest of his career.