Lost And Found: Rare Paul Revere Print Rediscovered | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

Lost And Found: Rare Paul Revere Print Rediscovered

Play associated audio

The 237th anniversary of Paul Revere's famous midnight ride during the Revolutionary War falls on Wednesday. But long before Henry Wadsworth Longfellow made him famous, Revere was known as an engraver and a silversmith in Boston.

Brown University announced this week that it had found a rare engraved print by Revere, one of only five in existence. The print was tucked inside an old medical book that had been donated by physician Solomon Drowne, a member of Brown University's class of 1773.

"It was an engraving, not a terribly large one," Richard Noble, Brown University's rare books cataloguer tells weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz, "and I looked down at the corner and there was a signature, "P. Revere Sculp." And I thought, 'You know, it's just crude enough to be his work.'"

Noble did some research online, and found a picture and description of the very same print on the American Antiquarian Society website, proving that this was a Revere original.

The print itself is rare, but what makes it truly unique is what it depicts, Noble says. The print shows Jesus in the Jordan River with John the Baptist, after being fully submerged in the water; the standard image often associated with Jesus' baptism has John the Baptist pouring water over Jesus' head.

The submersion of Christ is more in tune with the Baptist telling of the Baptism of Christ, Noble says.

"The text that's chosen for the caption, 'Buried with Him by baptism,' is very, very Baptist with a capital B text," Noble says.

Revere was a known Unitarian and though Noble is not a religious scholar, he says he believes Revere's print holds a hidden significance. His hope is "that somebody who knows something about that can come along and say, 'That's interesting and I've never seen anything quite like it before from this period, and I think that might be the case.'"

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

As Publishing Industry Courts China, Authors Speak Out Against Censorship

Chinese writers and publishers are being celebrated this week at BookExpo America — the industry's largest trade event in North America. Free speech advocates are supporting silenced Chinese writers.
NPR

Cod Comeback: How The North Sea Fishery Bounced Back From The Brink

A decade ago, fishermen trying to catch North Sea cod were coming up empty. Now, thanks to strict fishing rules put in place to halt the decline, this fish tale looks headed for a happy ending.
NPR

Former House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert Indicted By Federal Grand Jury

The longest-serving Republican speaker was indicted Thursday for illegally structuring cash withdrawals from bank accounts to conceal payments to someone he committed "prior misconduct" against.
NPR

FCC Chairman Wants To Help Low Income Americans Afford Broadband

Tom Wheeler proposes to reboot the Lifeline phone-access program. The plan recognizes that everyone needs to study, apply for jobs and make social connections online.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.