To the unaided eye, this piece appears to be in very good condition. Inspection under ultraviolet light reveals a normal fluorescence of pigments. There are no signs of damage or restoration. The piece is framed in an ornate pale antiqued gold molding and a gold liner. The frame is in good condition with normal signs of wear. Plate: Rendezvous Competition, Mountain Men in a Fire-line Tug of War by William Ahrendt
The Mountain Men of history were a breed apart but they were business men in a transatlantic industry. The market for beaver skins grew out of the 40 year long demand for fashionable beaver fur hats popular in both young America and ancient Europe. Beaver had been trapped in Europe many years earlier, and the fashion world looked forward to the intrepid American and Canadian men who left civilization behind in favor of a lonely and dangerous existence in the mountains of the American West where the Beaver waited to be trapped. The fur trade earned John Jacob Aster, America’s first multi-millionaire his admired place in economic history, but the businessmen who traded in beaver pelts, found it necessary to buy them from the trappers who made them available. During the period from the 1820s to the 1840s fur companies gained access to the valued beaver pelts though planed annual meetings in the rugged mountains of the America
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