NUMBER 51 OF 63 COLD-CAST COPIES OF SCULPTOR RON TUNISON’S STATUE OF GENERAL CRAWFORD, DEDICATED ON THE GETTYSBURG BATTLEFIELD IN 1988

$975.00 SOLD

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Item Code: 2023-2663

Ron Tunison (1947-2013) combined his artistic talent with an interest in history in his sculpture. His abilities were recognized in the erection of no fewer than nine Civil War and Revolutionary War memorials, including four on the battlefield of Gettysburg. This is one of 63 cold-cast versions he produced of his statue of General Samuel Wylie Crawford that was erected and dedicated in 1988 on the east side of Crawford Road, about 100 yards from the Wheatfield Road.

Crawford started the war as an army surgeon, but serving under fire at Fort Sumter gave him a taste for combat and he transferred to the infantry as a major and received a brigadier general’s commission in 1862. He was wounded at Antietam and returned in time for Gettysburg, where he commanded the division of Pennsylvania Reserves in the Fifth Corps. About 7:30 p.m. on July 2 he led his two brigades into the fight just north of Little Round Top, heading for Plum Run and pushing Confederates back to the Wheatfield and Devil’s Den, clearing the “Valley of Death.” At one point in the fighting Crawford seized the colors of the First Pennsylvania Reserves to lead his men forward. Tunison portrays him on foot, clasping that battleflag, and wearing field glasses and sword, along with the uniform coat Crawford had preserved and proudly labeled as the one he wore that day.

This stands about 15 inches tall (the original is some 12 feet,) cold-cast by Tunison from powdered bronze and resin, and preserves all the detail and attention to historical accuracy evident in the battlefield monument, along with its emotion and symbolism – someone pointed out Tunison had accurately recorded the missing finial of the flag staff, and also included a symbolic 34 bullet holes in the flag, the official number of stars on the flag at the time of the battle. This is an impressive sculpture, one of the few in modern times permitted to be erected on the field. It is signed and dated in the rock on which Crawford stands and numbered 51/63, indicating its standing in the very limited production run, and is mounted on a wood base with an engraved brass title plate.  [ld/sr] [ph:L]

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