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The Philadelphia Print Shop

Prints of Philadelphia

Views of Philadelphia have appeared in print ever since the eighteenth century,
and they present a fascinating graphic account of the history of the city.

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Heap: State House
George Heap. "A View of the State-House in Philadelphia." From Gentleman's Magazine. London: September, 1752. 4 1/4 x 7 1/2 (image) plus margins (hair margin at left). Copper plate engraving. Very good condition.

The London journal, Gentleman's Magazine, was the source of some of the most important and elegant maps and views of colonial America. During the years just before the American Revolution, the English gentleman was kept well informed through fine visual images, as well as articles, about the latest news in the developing colonies. The most up-to-date, authoritative sources were used, making for the dissemination of, and subsequent preservation of, some of the finest early historical documents about America. This print is a well engraved, handsome version of the famed George Heap elevation of the State-House, which originally appeared on the top of the Scull & Heap 1752 map of Philadelphia. When Gentleman's Magazine, in the same year, chose to publish an edition of this important document, they decided to include the Scull map and the Heap elevation in two separate issues. The result is fine detail and clarity for both, even though the scale is slightly smaller than that of the first published map. A delightful way in which to have this venerable and familiar image of very early Philadelphia. $475



Bowles after Heap: East Perspective of Philadelphia
Carington Bowles after George Heap. "An East Perspective View of the City of Philadelphia, in the Province of Pensylvania, in North America, taken from the Jersey Shore." London: Bowles, [1778]-ca. 1790. 9 1/2 x 16 1/4. Engraving. Original gouache hand coloring. Deak: 101; Snyder, state between first 100 and 100A. The date "1 Jany 1778" and the singular reference "at his Map & Print Warehouse" remain, but the number "38" to the left of the title is removed. Age browning and a few stains. Old scrapes have rubbed areas of the sky in upper right quadrant. Cut close on top margin, sides and bottom are complete but as usual not expansive. A fine example with antique tones. Framed to archival standards.

This is considered the finest and most decorative of the reissues of Heap's "East Prospect" of Philadelphia, and this ambitious and delicate eighteenth-century print is one of the most desirable early profiles of the city. In 1752, in response to an expressed desire by Thomas Penn to have a perspective view of Philadelphia from the east, George Heap, the author of the view of the State House contained in the Scull and Heap map, made a drawing of the Philadelphia waterfront from the New Jersey shore. This drawing was acquired by Penn, who subsequently had two engravings made from it, a large one in 1754 and a smaller version in 1756, the latter with the addition of views of the State House and the Battery and a city plan. Five years later, a copy of the smaller version was published in the London Magazine, with the two views inserted in the upper corners. Heap's was the first view published of Philadelphia, and it shows the city as a bustling river port of some importance and sophistication. A mile of the Philadelphia waterfront, from present-day South Street to Vine Street, is depicted in considerable detail. It shows the major buildings, a number with stately steeples, standing along streets already giving evidence of Philadelphia's impressively organized grid plan. In the foreground lies Windmill Island, and the river is congested with vessels of all types.

The creator of this print was London print maker, Carington Bowles, who was able to acquire the large, unwieldy original drawing made by George Heap in 1752, directly from which he made the engraving. Bowles described this print in a 1790 sales catalogue as one of a collection of 271 prints "designed to be used in the Diagnal Mirror, an Optical Pillar machine, or peep show." This was one of the vue d'optique or perspective views showing the cities of the world, prints that were very popular in the late eighteenth century. These prints were produced for a viewing machine that was used both in private and by peddlers in the streets of Europe. The hand color, necessitated by the optical show, is also noteworthy, the tones being more vivid and brilliant than on other, similar views of the period. The intended use of the print necessitated a standard size, and thus Bowles faced some space limitations in rendering the scene. $14,000



Birch: 1st ed High Street Market
William Russell Birch. "High Street Market." From The City of Philadelphia, in the State of Pennsylvania North America. First edition. Philadelphia, 1798-1800. Ca. 11 x 13 3/8 Engraving. Full original hand color. Very good condition.

When issued in 1800, William Birch's prints of Philadelphia collectively formed the first series of views of any American city, and as such they are of great historical importance. The superior quality of the work is evidenced in the scope of its conception, the artistic excellence of the prints and their fine execution. The prints provide a unique visual record of Philadelphia at a time when it was the most important and cosmopolitan city in the Western Hemisphere, and for a time was the capital of the newly formed United States. Each print illustrates a scene, focusing on the sophistication of the inhabitants and the stateliness of the homes and public buildings. $3,000
GoGo to page with complete listing of Birch's views of Philadelphia



Masonic Hall
S. Jones & J. L. Krimmel. "The Conflagration of the Masonic Hall Chestnut Street Philadelphia. Which Occurred on the Night of the 9th of March, 1819". Philadelphia: S. Kennedy & S.S. West, 1819. First state; on paper watermarked 1817. 24 x 19 1/2. Aquatint by J. Hill. With two small filled holes and repaired tears, including one ca. 6" into image. Old stain at bottom, just into platemark, but away from image. Impressions very good. Expertly conserved and appearance very good. Naeve, John Lewis Krimmel: 96; Fowble, Two Centuries of Prints In America: 317; Stauffer: 1345.

The dramatic event depicted is the burning of the Masonic Hall, a gothic brick and marble structure designed by William Strickland and built to much acclaim in 1809-10. This striking edifice, located on Chestnut Street above Seventh, burned in spectacular fashion in 1819, watched by a large crowd of spectators. The print was issued by Kennedy & West just a few months after the conflagration, a very short time to bring out a print of such an event. This rousing print well captures the drama of the scene, conveying the excitement of this Philadelphia disaster from over a century and a half ago, and testifying to the ability of the artists and engraver.

The view was a collaboration of two artists, John L. Krimmel and Samuel Jones. Little information is available on the life and works of Jones. He seems to have been commissioned by the original publishers to paint the background for the scene. For the figures in the foreground, John L. Krimmel was hired. Krimmel was a native of Germany, who came to the United States in 1810, settling in Philadelphia, where he painted portraits, miniatures, and good-natured street scenes. Krimmel is particularly known for his delightful treatment of the latter, and this print is a fine example of his style. Krimmel was able to graphically capture the frenzy of activity at the scene, the details and furor of the fire illustrated with great intricacy and emotion. The print was aquatinted by John Hill, the most skilled etcher in the United States. Hill (1770-1850) was an Englishman who had just settled in Philadelphia, and he was soon to go on to other projects which would bring him great fame. $2,400



Joshua Shaw. "View Near the Falls of the Schuylkill." From Picturesque Views of American Scenery. Philadelphia: M. Carey & Son, 1819-21. Aquatint with line etching by John Hill. Very good condition. Deák: 315; Fowble: 275; Fielding: 659.

A rare print from a very interesting series of American views that combine the work of some of the most talented Americans of the early nineteenth century. Joshua Shaw (ca. 1777-1860) was born and trained in England, where he exhibited at the Royal Academy. With a recommendation of his work from Benjamin West, Shaw emigrated to Philadelphia in 1817. He was enthralled by his new country, and as a result conceived the grand scheme of producing a folio of prints based on "correct delineations of some of the most prominent beauties of notable scenery." He planned to travel throughout the United States to make his drawings, and to issue the prints by subscription in six sets of six views each. This was the first systematic attempt to depict the American landscape, and it is a foundation work in the history of American color-plates. Only nineteen of the intended thirty-six prints were produced, for either Shaw ran out of energy, or the public did not sufficiently support the venture.

The aquatinting of the prints was done by John Hill (1770-1850), another Englishman who had just settled in Philadelphia. This was Hill's first major American commission, and the next year he moved to New York City where he further enhanced his reputation as the premier aquatinter in the country. The publisher of the series, Mathew Carey & Son, was no less illustrious, as perhaps the dominant American publisher of the first two decades of the nineteenth century, and the successor firms of Carey & Son, and then Carey & Lea continued to play an important part in the history of American maps, books and prints.

The prints from this series are rare and lovely; beautifully rendered, exquisitely aquatinted and finely colored. Scenes are mostly of the eastern seaboard; showing America when the country was primarily rural, and tending to focus on the inland waterways, which were the major routes of travel and sources of energy at the time. These prints provide us with a precious snapshot of our land in its nascent age, when it would still have been recognizable to the colonists of the previous century. It is interesting to note, however, that while most of the locations that Shaw recorded have lost their rural character, this print captures a view that is much like that we can find today. $1,600
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Conflagration of the Masonic Hall
Fumagalli. [State House, Philadelphia.] From Giulio Ferrario's Il Costume Antico e Moderno. Milan, 1821-23. 5 3/4 x 8 3/8. Aquatint. Full original hand coloring. Full margins. Fine condition. Snyder: Mirror of America, 408.

An unusual print of the State House in Philadelphia, now known as Independence Hall. The print was drawn by Fumagalli and was issued in a rare Italian work which contained illustrations of all parts of the world. As one of the 'must see' sites in North America in the early nineteenth century, Independence Hall was of course illustrated. The image is based on the image which appeared in Columbia Magazine, July 1787, and it is beautifully rendered. The workmanship, delicacy of the aquatinting, and fine detail make this rare print a wonderful example of fine Italian craftsmanship at the beginning of the nineteenth century. $350



T Birch Fairmount Water Works
Thomas Birch. "View of the Dam and Water Works at Fair Mount, Philadelphia." Philadelphia: Edward Parker, 1824. 7 x 14 3/4. Engraving by R. Campbell. With centerfold as originally issued. Repaired tear in sky near centerfold with minor wear along centerfold. Else, very good condition.

Thomas Birch gained prominence as an artist when he worked with his father on the prints for The City of Philadelphia. But this was only the beginning of his career and his accomplishments. Continuing to work in Philadelphia until his death in 1851, he created a rich and varied group of images of the city and its watery surroundings, including this view of the Fairmount Waterworks. Though the Fairmount Waterworks began operation in 1812 to 1815, very few printed images appeared of the site before the system was converted from steam to water power between 1819 and 1822. With its impressive size, neoclassical appearance, and riverside setting, the waterworks soon became the most popular Philadelphia subject for local and visiting artists. This view by Thomas Birch first appeared in the Report of the Watering Committee (1823), and thus Birch focuses on the mill house and dam, the latter depicted stretching across the center of the print. The original engine house, built in 1812 and also designed by Graff, is shown at the extreme right. To the left is the canal lock by-passing the dam, built as part of the agreement the City made with the Schuylkill Navigation Company in order to obtain the rights to water power at Fairmount. The view is oriented to look up the Schuylkill towards Lemon Hill, which can be seen in the background. Birch shows the Schuylkill teeming with activity. Several fishermen try their luck from the shore and nearby rocks, and more fishermen fill two of the three row boats below the dam. Steaming into the entrance of the lock is a paddle wheeler, ferrying passengers to the upper part of the river. $650



Klinkowstrom Market Street Bridge
Axel L. Klinkowström after Thomas Birch. "Bro öfver Skuylkill strõmmen nära Philadelphia." From Atlas til Friherre Klinkowstroms Bref om de Forenta Staterne. Stockholm: Tryckeriet, 1824. 9 3/4 x 16 1/2. Aquatint by Carl Fredrik Akrell. Hand colored.

Baron Axel Klinkowström spent three years, from 1818 to 1820, in the United States as the emissary for Sweden. On his tours around the country, the Baron took copious notes and made many sketches. Upon his return to Sweden he issued a fascinating account of his travels, which was issued with an accompanying atlas that included nineteen views of New York, Washington and Philadelphia. The prints were beautifully aquatinted by Akrell, and their high quality bespeaks a sophisticated intended audience. The subject of this view is the Upper Ferry or Fairmount Bridge, a covered bridge over the Schuylkill River at Fairmount. It was built between 1809 and 1812, made entirely of wood and spanned a distance of 340 feet. Until it was destroyed by fire in 1838 the bridge was a Philadelphia landmark, both for its fine appearance and as an engineering feat. The scene is drawn from the eastern bank of the river. Fairmount itself is not depicted, though the beginning of the slope is shown at right. Commerce of the period is nicely illustrated with images of travelers on horseback, a Conestoga wagon, and a cargo laden canal boat. Klinkowström's view is closely derived from Thomas Birch's image of the same site from a few years before. $1,400



Klinkowstrom: 3rd Street Philadelphia
Axel Leonhard Klinckowström. "Third Street i Philadelphia." From Atlas til Friherre Klinkowströms Bref om de Forenta Staterne. Stockholm: Tryckeriet, 1824. Aquatint by Carl Frederik Akrell. 4 3/4 x 7 (image) plus margins. Very good condition.

Baron Axel Leonhard Klinckowström (1775-1837) was a Swedish aristocrat who spent the years 1818 to 1820 in America as a representative of his government. He wrote a fascinating book about his travels in America, Bref om de Forente Staterne, published by C. Muller in Stockholm in 1824, which was accompanied by an atlas of maps and prints that included nineteen views of New York, Washington and Philadelphia. The prints were beautifully aquatinted by Akrell, and their high quality bespeaks a sophisticated intended audience. While his use of aquatint to copy well known engravings provided a lovely and finished interpretation of American prints, his original pictures of New York City are considered original prints after his own paintings (Deak Picturing America, #s 310 and 322).

Although some of his Philadelphia views are thought to have been copied from William and Thomas Birch, this view of the "Mr. Kensie" saddlery and coach-harness manufactory at 39 3rd Street is original to Klinckowström. (Lane & Cresswell, Prints of Philadelphia #57, Phillips, Maps and Views of Philadelphia, #392). "Kensie" is Edmund (or Edmond) Kinsey, a saddler whose business was at the northwest corner of 3rd and Chestnut Streets at this time period, and who was a leader in 1817 of the "Philadelphia Society for the Promotion of American Manufacturers." This four storied building served for retail and wholesale trade, warehousing, and manufacturing. It was unusual for a series of city views of this period to include an image of a commercial establishment. This is an early view of a business structure in Philadelphia. $475



Grays Ferry
George Lehman. "Grays Ferry." Philadelphia: C. G. Childs. 1830. Lehman & Duval, 1833. 7 1/2 x 11 (image) on full sheet with wide margins. Lithograph by C.G. Childs. Wainwright: 161. Excellent condition. A very scarce print.

A pastoral scene of the Lower Ferry known as Gray's Ferry named for George Gray of Barbados in the first half of the Eighteenth Century. During the Revolution a floating bridge replaced the ferry, and in 1790 a botanical garden was built on the west bank. In 1789 George Washington crossed this bridge amid festivities and decorations by the Peale family. Such memories were the impetus for Lehman to celebrate the site. Soon after a permanent railroad and traffic bridge would occupy the site.

George Lehman was a Philadelphia painter, engraver, lithographer and publisher from the late 1820's until his death in 1870. About 1831 he worked as a lithographer for Childs & Inman, later forming publishing partnerships with C.G. Childs and P.S. Duval. $850



Eastern State Penitentiary
J.C. Wild. "Manayunk." From Views of Philadelphia and its Vicinity. Philadelphia: J.C. Wild, 1838. 5 x 6 5/8. Lithograph. Original hand coloring. Very good condition.

A lovely hand-colored view of the Eastern State Penitentiary by John Casper Wild. Wild was a Swiss artist who studied in Paris, and then came to Philadelphia around 1831. Soon after he moved to Cincinnati and then back to Philadelphia in 1837. At that time he formed a partnership with J.B. Chevalier to publish a series of small lithographs illustrating the city of Philadelphia. The intent was to sell the prints inexpensively, at a rate of 25 cents for two images, and this was done in part in conjunction with the Saturday Courier, which used the prints in its promotions. The prints were all issued in 1838, and when completed they were sold in a bound volume. The complete work consisted of twenty lovely scenes of Philadelphia and four additional larger prints that show the views from Independence Hall tower in the four cardinal directions. The project was not, however, a success for Wild, and in that year he left Philadelphia to move to the mid-west. The plates were reissued a number of times, including by J.T. Bowen over the next decade. Though he stayed only a short time in the city, Wild's twenty seven views of Philadelphia are amongst the most notable of the nineteenth century. $275
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After Benjamin West. "Wm. Penn's Treaty with the Indians when he Founded the Province of Pennsa. 1661." New York: N. Currier, 1838-56. Small folio: 8 1/8 x 12 1/2. Lithograph. Original hand color. Trimmed margins. Otherwise, very good condition. C:6697.

From 1834 to 1907 the firm of Nathaniel Currier, and then Currier and Ives, provided for the American people a pictorial history of their country's growth from an agricultural society to an industrialized one. For nearly three quarters of a century the firm provided "Colored Engravings for the People," becoming the visual raconteurs of 19th century America.

In 1834 Nathaniel Currier established the firm which produced colored pictures using a then-new process called lithography. Some of the finest artists of the day, including Louis Maurer, Thomas Worth, Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait, Frances Flora Bond Palmer, George H. Durrie, Napoleon Sarony, Charles Parsons and J.E. Butterworth were engages by the firm to produce a variety of images. First printed in black and white, prints were then colored with imported Austrian pigments, by German women employed by the firm. Ready for foreign and domestic distribution, the prints were sold at home and abroad, sold to shops, mailed through catalogues, and hawked by push-cart peddlers, whose carts were covered with images selling for a few pennies apiece.

The firm produced two types of prints-"rush" stock prints quickly made to provide information about newsworthy events, and "stock" prints depicting every conceivable subject relating to American life, such as city views, sports, games, home life, religion, entertainment, and so forth. These print had a profound effect on popular culture, reflecting and influencing the tastes, attitudes and perception of the world held by many Americans.

This lithograph used as its source the famous large painting by Benjamin West that has also been reproduced by printmakers in the 18th and 19th centuries. The original painting hangs at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia. $575



Philadelphia Grays
Alfred Hoffy. "The Artillery Corps of Philadelphia Greys, (Company D). Comd. By Capt. Geo. Cadwalader, First Regiment of Artillery, 1st Brigade, 1st division, P.M." Philadelphia: P.S. Duval, 1845. 12 3/4 x 16 1/2. Lithograph by A. Hoffy. Original hand color. Very good fine condition. Wainwright: 367.

A very rare image of the Philadelphia Greys drawn "on the spot" by Alfred Hoffy and printed by P.S. Duval, perhaps the finest American print publisher of the mid-nineteenth century. From about 1835 until his retirement in 1869, Duval dominated the city's energetic printmaking scene publishing numerous lithographic portraits, periodical illustrations, and historical works. Duval was a prominent local citizen and a spirited businessman, being the only lithographer to be admitted to the city's Board of Trade before the Civil War. He was also an innovator, the first to adapt steam power to the running of all his presses, and one of the early enthusiasts for the possibilities of printing in color. A final key ingredient to Duval's success was his ability to attract the very best lithographic artists to work for him, amongst whom was Alfred Hoffy, the author of this view. Hoffy became involved with Duval and William Huddy in lithographing most of the illustrations for their U.S. Military Magazine, which contained prints of military officers modeling their company's uniforms. This separately issued print was published by Duval after the demise of the magazine, though it was also drawn by Hoffy. The scene shows the Philadelphia Greys being drilled near Powelton in West Philadelphia. The company is commanded by Captain Cadwalader, one of the most impressive of Philadelphia's military figures. This print is one of the more unusual and interesting views of Philadelphia from the mid-nineteenth century. $2,200



Kollner: Laurel Hill
Augustus Köllner. "Laurel-Hill Cemetery." From Views of American Cities. New York & Paris: Goupil, Vibert & Co., 1848. 8 x 11 1/2. Lithograph by Isidore-Laurent Deroy. Printed by Cattier. Original hand color. Excellent condition. Deak: 560.

Augustus Theodore Frederick Adam Köllner, born in Wurttenberg in 1812, worked as an artist, engraver and lithographer in Stuttgart and Paris before emigrating to America in 1839. Köllner settled in Washington where he continued as a professional draftsman and also began to make drawings of American scenery. In 1840 he moved to Philadelphia, meeting P.S. Duval, who hired Köllner to draw illustrations for Duval and Hoddy's U.S. Military Magazine. Köllner achieved considerable success in Philadelphia as a lithographic artist, producing a wide range of prints, including trade cards, labels, and illustrations. From his earliest days in the United States, Köllner traveled around the country making scenic drawings of his adopted land, including a number of views of Philadelphia. Goupil, Vibert & Co. arranged to publish a series of Köllner's views beginning in 1848. Despite Köllner's ability as a lithographer, the New York and Paris publisher had the prints both lithographed and printed in Paris. Fifty-four prints were made, including this and six other views of Philadelphia. These views illustrate Köllner's fluent artistic style. In a manner similar to Birch, Wild, and others, Köllner focused on Philadelphia's street life, providing a realistic immediacy and another delightful series of Philadelphia views. $1,200



East View
Panoramic views of Philadelphia by Edwin Whitefield. New York, ca. 1850. Tinted lithographs by Wm. Endicott & Co. 10 1/2 x 19 1/2. Very good condition, except as noted.

Two of a set of four panoramic views of Philadelphia delineating features of the city as seen from the State House steeple. The images were drawn by Edwin Whitefield, who came to the United States in the late 1830s and became one of the artist-travelers who devoted a major part of his life to recording pictorially the changing scene in the cities and towns of the United States and Canada. Whitefield was a stickler for precise and accurate detail for the major architectural and topographical features of each view. These intricate and panoramic views of Philadelphia, seen looking from the top of the State House are excellent examples.



Collins & Autenrieth: Chestnut Street
Collins & Autenrieth. "Panorama of Philadelphia. Chestnut Street, East of Fifth." Philadelphia: Schnabel, Finkeldey & Demme, 1856. 7 x 10 1/2. Tinted lithograph. Printed by Schnabel, Finkeldey & Demme. Mat burn outside image and text, else excellent condition. Wainwright 1: 263; Prints of Philadelphia: 182.

A print perhaps inspired by Rae's Chestnut Street Panorama of a few years before. Rae's volume was an advertising vehicle which illustrated the buildings along Chestnut Street from Second to Tenth. From the title of this print, it appears that Schnabel, Finkeldey & Demme may have intended to publish a similar series of street scenes to advertise the businesses shown in them. If this was their intent, the project was likely a failure, for few of these prints exist. A second state of this print, with the name M.H. Traubel & Co. replacing that of Schnabel, Finkeldey & Demme, labels this as "Plate 4." This indicates that there may be at least three other images from this series. The image of this print shows the south side of Chestnut at the corner of Fifth. On the second floor right side is Root's Daguerre-o-type Studio. Part of Congress Hall appears at the right, but the image centers on the five shops lining the block to the east. Pedestrians and carriages are depicted, but the focus of the scene is on the businesses. $675



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