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American Views from Ladies' Repository

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Prints from The Ladies' Repository: A Monthly Periodical, Devoted To Literature and Religion. Cincinnati, 1842-60s. Octavo, ca. 4 1/2 x 7 1/2. Steel engravings. Very good condition, except as noted.

A scarce group of excellent American views from The Ladies' Repository. This mid-nineteenth century periodical was produced in Cincinnati by members of the Methodist Church. It was a magazine "Devoted To Literature and Religion," containing articles, poetry, fiction, and notes of interest to its readers. One of its most interesting aspects was the inclusion of engravings. Many had a religious or "genre" theme, but many were topographical views of different parts of the United States. This magazine had a limited circulation and so these prints are quite a bit more scarce than most engravings of the period. Some of the views are based on images by W.H. Bartlett, but others are taken either from some of the large folio views of the period or are drawn first hand for The Ladies' Repository. Whatever their source, these are among the most interesting and hard-to-find American views of the middle of last century.

Note: Between 1854 and 1855, a particularly interesting succession of twelve engraved views were issued in Ladies' Repository based on very large prints published earlier by the Smith Brothers of New York City. Between 1848 and 1862, the four Smith brothers issued a series of over 40 large lithographs of American cities. In order to enhance their magazine, the editors of Ladies Repository made an agreement with the Smith Brothers to use some of those views to make reduced engravings for inclusion in the periodical. "We have made special preparation for our engravings . . . Messrs. Smith Brothers and Co, of New York city, have obtained original drawings of most of the large cities of our country, and got up a series of large and splendid lithographic engravings. By the courtesy of these gentlemen we have, upon personal application, obtained permission to use those original drawings for the Repository, and have engaged Mr. Wellstood, one of the best artists in the country, to engrave them in the best state of the art." From "Editor's Table," December 1853, p. 568.


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