New Year’s Day origin; Remington
Our celebration of New Year’s Day goes back to 46 B.C.E., when Julius Caesar established January 1 as New Year’s Day. Janus was the Pagan Roman god of doors and gates, and had two faces: one facing forward and one facing back. Caesar felt that the month named after this god (which is where “January” originated) would be the appropriate “door” to the New Year. The first “New Year” days were full of violence and drunken orgies. By medieval times, Christianity had spread, and New Year’s Day was moved to March 25 in honor of “Annunciation Day” which was supposedly was the day that the angel Gabriel announced to Mary that she would conceive a son to be called “Jesus.” It wasn’t until 1582 that under decree of Pope Gregory XIII (and we adopted the Gregorian calendar) New Year’s Day was celebrated on January 1 again. Everyone gets a fresh start on a new year, and our New Year’s Day is a day to reflect on the passing year whether it be in celebration or regret (with plans of resolutions!)
A. Your Frederick Remington artist proofs are from Collier’s Weekly, a magazine published from 1888 until 1957. Collier printed many copies of Remington’s illustration works. Your prints were sold in a set (there were several offered), and were made as you noted 1904-1906. “The Belle Mare,” “An Argument With the Town Marshall,” “The Emigrants,” “Pony Tracks in the Buffalo Trail,” “The Gathering of Trappers,” and “The Buffalo Runners” were all found for sale or sold at auction. Prices ranged from $150 -$350 each by dealers and $75 -$100 each at auction. These generally sell better in the American western states. You did not include a picture or note overall condition or if they are in a bound portfolio which could affect overall value.
Karen Waterman is a fine art, antique furniture and decorative arts appraiser in the East Bay area and will answer as many questions about your own “hidden treasures” as possible. By sending a letter of email with a question, your give full permission for use in the column. Names, addresses or e-mail will not be published and photos will be returned if requested. Send e-mails (digital photos are encouraged) to firstname.lastname@example.org. Send snail mail to East Bay Newspapers, Attn. Karen Waterman, P.O.Box 90, Bristol, RI 02809.