Soldier, Engraver, Forger: Richard Brunton's Life on the Fringe in America's New Republic
By Deborah M. Child
Foreword by D. Brenton Simons and Penelope L. Stratton
136pp, paperback with fold-out flaps
In this richly illustrated biography, the author follows in the footsteps of Richard Brunton, a British grenadier who fought in the American Revolution before deserting in 1779. A trained engraver and diesinker, his primitive but charming works include some of the earliest pre-printed family registers in America. Despite his many talents and efforts, he was never able to make an honest living from his craft. Instead, he spent years living on the fringes of society, forging and counterfeiting currency, until his death in a New England almshouse in 1832.
Read an article about the book from the August 2015 issue of Antiques & Fine Art magazine.
"In Soldier, Engraver, Forger, Deborah Child has utilized all the scholarly tools and skills of the modern historian to develop an engaging and fascinating portrait of this heretofore little-known artist and personality of early New England.”
Gerald W. R. Ward, Senior Consulting Curator and the Katharine Lane Weems, Senior Curator of American Decorative Arts and Sculpture Emeritus, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
“Deborah Child has done a masterful job of bringing to life an obscure engraver, Richard Brunton. . . . He left behind a significant body of bookplates, family registers, engraved portraits, and medallions. She has carefully traced his career, successfully placing him in a cultural and historical context.”
Georgia B. Barnhill, Curator Emerita, American Antiquarian Society