Historical Prints

Dancing Shakers

wood engraving
5 x 7 1/2 inches
16 x 18 1/2 inches (frame)


Several versions exist of this image of Shakers step-dancing at the Mount Lebanon, New York, community, all from the first half of the 19th century. Our version more closely resembles the one done by Nathaniel Currier, circa 1840. His print is more detailed than a stipple engraving that appeared around the same time, and both are slightly different from Anthony Imbert’s 1826 lithograph. This view of Shaker life appears to have been popular enough to be copied with slight changes. The version at offer is from an almanac in the German language published around the same time. We include an accompanying calendar page from the almanac.

Print images of Shaker life from the early 19th century almost all show scenes from the Mount Lebanon community. There are to our knowledge no historical prints of life at Pleasant Hill in Mercer County, Kentucky, from that era, so a lot of what we know visually comes from the popular documentation of the Northeast communities.

The print is framed with archival materials.