Likely Nast Work Concerning Civil War Coming Up at Gray’s Auction

On July 28, Gray’s Auctioneers in Cleveland will be selling lot 177, a rare Civil War painting from 1865 entitled ‘Our Flag is There’. The signature is indecipherable however the Gray’s appraisal team has discovered a sketch by Thomas Nast which was featured on the cover of Harper’s Weekly, February 13, 1864. The sketch is an exact study for the painting. Thomas Nast famously caricatured political figures of his day and was declared the father of the American cartoon for his work at Harpers. He is credited with the creation of the modern version of Santa Claus, and Uncle Sam, as well as the political symbols of both major United States political parties: the Republican elephant and the Democratic donkey. His early oil paintings are rare and all have historical and political significance. Of his paintings the most notable is ‘The Halt’ painted in 1864, depicting a Union soldier getting a drink of water from a sympathetic mother and baby, which sold at Doyles in 2007 for $252,000.

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