Thursday, October 6, 2016

Witchcraft Primer

Though technically not Halloween, this "Eclectic Primary History of The United States" published in 1884 covers (if very briefly) the Salem Witch Trials.

 







I thought the engraving warranted a closer look.





It's signed "Farny".  That would be Henry Fran├žois Farny, a French artist better known for his period paintings of Native Americans

H. F. Farny (right) sitting with portrait artist Frank Deveneck. Image courtesy wikiwand.com

There's another signature on the lower left of the engraving.


It appears to say "R.M.S Sc".  Apparently, "Sc" is short for "sculpsit" which is Latin for "He carved it", so R.M.S. was the engraver of the piece which was done from an illustration by Farny.  I didn't have any luck identifying R.M.S.  There was a Robert Scot who was an 19th century engraver, but he died 6 years before H.F. Farny was born, so it wouldn't be possible for him to have engraved Farny's work unless...WITCHES!!!!

6 comments:

Sharon said...

cue spooky music... Glad I wasn't around back then. I definitely would have had fingers pointing at me.

lady M said...

What a great painting - look at those poor dim witted little puritan children.

lady M said...

Actually dim witted Lady M mean engraving - what a great engraving!

FrankO said...

it looks like that one kid is getting a snowball ready or something. poor old lady (and cat)! if only they had understood back then that spores growing in their grain stores might be causing their problems.

Tom said...

I like how the one Puritan boy is about to smack her with a snowball.

Tom said...

>it looks like that one kid is getting a snowball ready or something.
Yes, someone said, "he who is without sin, cast the first snowball." So he chucked that sucka!

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