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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 8, page 237 [newspaper clipping], after December 17, 1858

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Identifier: DX03808973

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 8, page 237 [newspaper clipping], after December 17, 1858

Description: Newspaper clipping regarding John Levison illegally making copies of and selling work by artist William J. Hays.


[William] Levison’s brother [John Levison], referred to in page 151. An odious style of individual generally.

[newspaper clipping]

Mr. John Levison is a picture auctioneer, and taking a fancy to one of Mr. [William J.] Hays’s creations, of which the artist had published a lithograph, he has copies made in oil and sells them under the hammer for what they will bring. To this, Mr. Hays most naturally objects; in the first place, objects to have these daubs palmed off on the public as his productions, and also because it injures the sale of his lithograph. Objecting, he requests Mr. Levison to desist, who, in his turn, objects. Matters become serious. The law is delicately hinted at; but the auctioneer snaps his fingers in the law’s face. Matters come to a crisis. The law is called in on the 10th day of January, 1857; the struggle lasts two years; but at last, on the 17th of December, 1858, the struggle is over; the pencil has conquered the hammer, and the auctioneer is floored. “The defendant, John Levison, and his agents, servants and employees are perpetually enjoined from making, exhibiting, selling or otherwise disposing of any copy of the print of said complainant mentioned and described in his bill in this suit, the title of which is ‘The Retrieve,’ or of any part of parts thereof; “he is furthermore to pay the said William J. Hays all the profits found to have been received by the said defendant, John Levison, from the sale of copies of the said print in violation of the complainant’s copyright thereto, and also pay the costs in the suit. Thus decreed the Circuit Court of the United States for the Southern District of New York, and its decree is just.

Glancing over the evidence, we find one or two disclosures of humbug especially worthy of note. It appeared that the defendant had a shop in No. 39 Centre street, where he had persons employed manufacturing the pictures which formed the principal part of those exposed for sale and sold by him in his Broadway store; that it was his practice to exhibit but one picture of a kind at a time, and very soon after the one so exhibited [rest of article missing]

Rights: NoC-US


Dates: 1858-12-17

Type(s): Clipping, Newspaper


Subjects: Diaries
Actions and defenses


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