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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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William Strickland (?). "Masonic Hall Chesnut St. Philadelphia. Erected A.D. 1813. Destroyed by Fire A.D. 1819." Philadelphia: Wm. Spink, Wm. Kneass, & Philip R. Engard, 1853. Lithograph. 19 3/8 x 18 1/8. Printed by "D. Chillas, Lith. 50 S. 3rd. Street." Full original hand color. Third State. Tear extending into sky about 1 1/2 inch and tear in bottom margin expertly repaired. Otherwise, very good condition. See Snyder, Mirror of America: 508 for an earlier state; Wainwright: 229. Framed.

Masonic Hall was one of the first and best examples of Gothic Revival architecture in the United States. Designed in brick and marble by William Strickland, this striking edifice located on Chestnut Street above Seventh burned in spectacular fashion in 1819 watched by a large crowd of spectators. This print, originally issued in 1813, was reprinted in 1853 by the publishers who were themselves Masons. This was possibly done to celebrate the completion of a new Masonic Hall on the same site. Due to its short history, few prints of this building were made and the only other large print depicts the burning. Even though the artist of this print is unknown, there is no doubt that he was heavily influenced by William Birch, who issued a series of views of Philadelphia a few years earlier. The probable artist is the architect - William Strickland. $1,250

Collins: Panorama of Philadelphia
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. One tiny spot in sky, 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

Penn's Treaty with the Indians
After Benjamin West. "William Penn's Treaty with the Indians." Philadelphia: Illman & Sons, 1857. With engraved facsimile of William Penn's signature. Line engraving. 14 1/2 x 11 (plate marks) plus margins. Steel engraving. Overall excellent condition. Not in Snyder, Mirror.

An intriguing 19th-century broadside illustrating Penn's legendary treaty of friendship with the Lenni Lenape Indians. The theatrical rendering of the figures after Benjamin West's painting, along with the exuberant poem (appropriately enough, in 18th-century heroic couplets) perpetuate nicely the happy legend. A charming piece of Philadelphia history that was prepared for distribution by newspaper carriers who sold them as a memento or gift at the beginning of the new year. This is one of the most attractive and accomplished of these carriers' broadsides that is a recognized genre produced in American cities in the nineteenth century. $450

George Lehman. "The Great Elm Tree of Shackamaxon (Now Kensington)." [Philadelphia, ca. 1829]. Second state; Philadelphia: William Smith, ca. 1860+. Aquatint by G. Lehman. Full hand color. Very good condition. Framed. Prints of Philadelphia: 79; Fielding: 951; Fowble: 258; Snyder: Mirror, 589.

George Lehman, a native of Lancaster, moved to Philadelphia where he became a noted artist, engraver, lithographer and publisher. Perhaps his first work of importance is this lovely view of Philadelphia from Kensington. Though this scene is similar works by William Birch and John James Barralet, Lehman drew his own image of this popular view-point. The famous Treaty Tree stands majestically in the center of the image, with the bustling port of Philadelphia seen in the distance beneath the tree's branches. There are many boats on the river, and a sailing ship is being constructed on the beach at left. A number of pedestrians are shown in the foreground, including an artist sitting beneath the tree making a sketch. Interestingly, a family of goats seems to have lived around the Treaty Tree, for Barralet showed goats in his watercolor of 1796, and three goats are also shown in Lehman's view, one walking along a branch of the tree itself. $2,900

White's Cattle Show
J. L. Krimmel. "White's Great Cattle Show, and Grand Procession of the Victuallers of Philadelphia." Philadelphia: A. Clement, 1860-61. Third edition. 14 3/8 x 23 1/4. Lithographed on stone by L. Haugg. Printed by F. Bourquin & Co. Original hand coloring. Expertly repaired tears, some extending into image and title area. Otherwise, very good condition.

This splendid view of early Philadelphia prosperity was the work of a celebrated and popular artist of the period. John L. 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 and domestic scenes. This elaborate visual chronicle was one of his most celebrated works. It was an important enough painting to be taken over as the subject of three different prints, including this large and separately issued lithograph published around 1860. As the long caption to the print explains, the event being commemorated is the conveying to market of an especially fine and abundant 'harvest' of livestock. We are told that 100 carts were required to transport 86,731 pounds of beef, pork, lamb, etc., all of which was sold within 24 hours. The successful cattle merchants are named individually along with an account of their contributions. The significance of the event and the picture as the fruition of the city's economic success and encouragement of good works is summed up in the seal and motto, "We feed the hungry," that appears in the title line. $2,300

Mower Hospital
James Queen. "Mower U.S.A. General Hospital,/ Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia." Philadelphia: P. S. Duval, 1865. 11 3/4 x 20 1/2. Chromolithograph. Good margins. With repaired tear in bottom margin, extending into title area. Print conserved and line. Very good appearance and condition. Scarce.

James Queen, a native Philadelphian, was apprenticed as a lithographer to the firm of Lehman & Duval in 1835, when he was just fifteen. Queen soon became an accomplished lithographic artist, establishing himself as Duval's principal draftsman. He drew views, disasters, portraits, music covers, advertisements, certificates, illustrations and any other subject Duval needed. This is a refined print of one of the important Civil War hospitals located in Philadelphia. The bird's eye view gives us an excellent sense of the 47 building complex that once housed 4000 patients and was the largest such hospital in Philadelphia. The complex, designed by John McArthur, was bounded by Abington and Springfield Avenues, on a site that was opposite the present Wyndmoor Station. The highly skillful execution together with the impressive detail of daily comings and goings give the print great life and immense historical interest. One of only a few nineteenth century prints of Chestnut Hill. Ref.: Wainwright, p. 169. $1,400

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