“The Youthful Prophet, Joseph Smith, Jr., and Oliver Cowdery, Receiving the Aaronic Priesthood Under the Hands of John the Baptist, May 15, 1829…”

NP: George W. Crocheron, 1899. 61 X 38 cm framed print in original wooden frame and likely original glass. Chipped along top edge with several small holes about half way down. Minor staining and some noticeable toning to paper in several places.

Image shows the Prophet Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery kneeling in the wilderness on either side of John the Baptist, who is conferring the Aaronic Priesthood on both. The words of the ordination printed at the foot, beneath the title. This attractive image offers a portrait of this foundational event in the history of the LDS Church.

This lithograph appears to be a copy of the C.C.A. Christensen Lithograph printed by F. E. Bording entitled: “The Restoration of the Aaronic Priesthood. Joseph Smith Jun. and Oliver Cowdery Being Ordained By the Angel, John the Baptist, May 15, 1829.” Referenced in “C.C.A. Christensen. 1831-1912: Mormon Immigrant Artist, page 73.

George Washington Crocheron (1825-1910), born in Staten Island, was baptized in 1843 and spent several years in St. Louis with his family before coming to Utah in 1852. He was a pioneering participant in theater in Utah, being associated with luminaries such as Philip Margetts. In 1870 he married Augusta Branum Joyce as a plural wife—she would become well-known as a poet and writer. He issued at least four other prints: The prophet Joseph rebuking the guard at Richmond Jail, Ray County, Missouri (1897), Brigham Young. President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and leader of the pioneers to the vales of Utah in the year 1847 (1899), Truth the Immortal (1907—portrait of Orson F. Whitney along with the poem in a decorative border) and The Variety Picture (1909). In 1870, he created an engraving of Brigham Young—possibly used for the later print. He was employed as a store clerk (1870, 1880). George was a man of many talents—he published poems and aphorisms in church magazines and invented a device for relieving bloat in cattle. During the last year of his life, he suffered from depression/senility and attempted suicide several times.

The print was first issued in 1898 in a larger size (91 x 61 cm)—the only two known institutional copies of this are located at the Church History Library and the Library of Congress. These seem to be identical except for size and copyright date. The only known institutional copy of the 1899 print is located at BYU. Not in Flake. It was later parodied for the cover of the July 16-22 issue of Bloomberg Businessweek—the cover article was “Latter-day Lucre: How the Mormon Church Makes Its Billions” by Caroline Winter. Condition: Near very good. Item #31357

Price: $2,500.00

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