Vignette of sailor holding flag, sextant, anchor, barrel and bale in background. Engraving is on india paper die sunk on card, from a presentation book of a bank note company. Circa 1850s.
The function of specimen books or presentation albums initially served as a business-generating artist’s portfolio to be given to bank presidents or heads of foreign national banks. Prior to specimen books, engraving company salesmen presented potential clients with engraved broadsides highlighting their abilities. Examples of these salesman’s sample sheets exist from the mid 1820s and 1830s. While specimen books were introduced in 1850s and 1860s, examples of the salesman sheet are known through the 1880s.
Note: this is an ORIGINAL nineteenth century engraving; not a reproduction or contemporary print. Your satisfaction is guaranteed.