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Views of the United States

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A selection of interesting views
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A Selection of Interesting Views

"Bronze Statue of Genl. Andrew Jackson." Dedicated to Clark Mills. Lithograph with credits "On stone by B.F. Smith" and "From Dagtpe [sic-i.e. daguerreotype] by Paige." Copyrighted by Smith & Jenkins in 1853. Printed by F. Michelin. 19 x 11 (image) plus large margins. Excellent condition.

The famous statue of Andrew Jackson reviewing his troops on the evening of the Battle of New Orleans was erected on 7 January 1853 in Lafayette Park across from the White House in Washington, D.C. 8 January 1815 was the date of that battle, and the day after completion was an anniversary. Clark Mills (1810-1883) was a self taught sculptor who was recognized for his accomplishments when working in Charleston, S.C. Passing by an opportunity to study in Italy, he traveled to Richmond and Washington where he produced busts of famous men until he was commissioned to cast the huge equestrian of Jackson. The U.S. Army contributed captured British cannons from the War of 1812 to provide deeper meaning for it. Duplicate statues were soon ordered by the cities of New Orleans and Nashville.

This beautiful lithograph was based on a daguerreotype by a photographer of uncertain identity. Blanchard P. Page in New York City in the early 1860s also spelled his name Paige in a city directory, but there was also a Cirus Page in New York in the 1850s and a Charles G. Page in Washington in 1856. $1,850

West RockSpacerEast Rock
Pair of prints by George H. Durrie. [East Rock/West Rock, New Haven, CT.] New York: G.H. Durrie, 1853. Three tone lithographs by Sarony & Co. 13 7/8 x 20 5/8. Imprint fully present, but titles trimmed off at bottom. Else, very good condition. Rare.

A pair of lovely views of East Rock and West Rock in New Haven. The scenes were drawn by the great New England painter, George H. Durrie, best known for his work with Currier & Ives. The landscapes show impressive, accurate detail, but still exhibit the charm for which Durrie is famous, each containing vignettes of daily life in New England. $2,600

Scenographia America view
Paul Sandby after Thomas Pownall. [A View in Hudson's River of Pakepsey & the Catts-Kill Mountains, From Sopos Island in Hudson's River]. From Scenographia Americana. London, [1761-68]. 11 1/4 x 19 1/2 (sheet). Painted and engraved by Paul Sandby. Line engraving with hand color. Trimmed to image. Tape repairs on back. Cf. Deak: 106. Cresswell: 558.

Thomas Pownall, born in England in 1722, served in North America in various official positions between 1753 and 1760, including Governor of Massachusetts and South Carolina. During this time, Pownall traveled about the colonies, keeping a journal and making sketches of the sites he visited. Upon his return to England, Pownall hired Paul Sandby, the drawing master at the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich, England, to work with him on producing a set of engraved scenes based upon Pownall's sketches. This set was entitled Six Remarkable Views in the Provinces of New-York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania in North America, and it was first published in 1761. In 1768 these prints were incorporated into Scenographia Americana, a portfolio containing twenty-eight prints by Pownall and other artists. The engraving of the prints in these series is superb, with texture, lighting, and motion all conveyed with remarkable vividness. This print was issued in this series and shows the area near Poughkeepsie looking from Esopus Island which is half way between Hyde Park and Staatsburg today. The landscape is archetypical of the potential bounty of the continent which the British had fought for in the just ended French and Indian Wars and which they were soon to lose in the Revolution. Pownall was a strong supporter of the argument that the American colonies were of such potential that the British should do everything possible to keep them within the British empire. This is an excellent example of Pownall's point, a strong symbol of wealth and potential in the "New World." $600

Passaic Falls
Joshua Shaw. "Passaic Falls, New Jersey." From Picturesque Views of American Scenery. Philadelphia: M. Carey & Son, 1819-21. 10 x 13 7/8. Aquatint with line etching by John Hill. Original hand color. Full margins. Hand colored. Very good condition.

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, and he became so enthralled by his new country that he 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 eighteen 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), who was 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 than the others. Mathew Carey was perhaps the dominate 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. They are beautifully rendered, exquisitely aquatinted and finely colored. $1,800
GoGo to page with other views from the Shaw-Hill series

Views from The Analectic Magazine. Philadelphia: 1817-1820. Engravings. Very good condition unless noted otherwise.

In 1812, Philadelphia bookseller and publisher Moses Thomas purchased a monthly magazine entitled Select Reviews, engaged Washington Irving as editor, and renamed the publication The Analectic Magazine. Irving, his brother-in-law J. K. Paulding, Gulian C. Verplanck and, later, Thomas Isaac Wharton wrote much of the material, which concentrated on literary reviews, articles on travel and science, biographies of naval heroes, and reprints of selections from British periodicals. Illustration "was one of the magazine's chief distinctions. Not only were there the usual engravings on copper, but some of the earliest magazine experiments in lithography and wood engraving appeared here. The plates were chiefly portraits, though some other subjects were used." (Mott, A History of American Magazines)

Conemaugh Valley Birds Eye view
JOHNSTOWN, PA. "Bird's Eye View of the Conemaugh Valley." Circa post May 31, 1889. 11 3/4 x 26 1/2 (neatlines) plus full margins. Lithograph with some hand color. A cryptic note at bottom right states "Copyright applied for." Brittle with folds as issued. Not in Reps. A scarce piece.

A fine example of the American bird's eye view of the nineteenth century. Beginning after the Civil War, the bird's eye view became one of the most popular of print genres. This was a period of significant urban growth throughout the country, and the civic pride which proliferated provided a fertile field for print publishers to market these visual vistas of American cities and towns. According to John Rep's seminal Views and Viewmakers of Urban America (Columbia, 1984), publishers sent their artists out into the field throughout all parts of the country to draw and market the views. The artist would walk the streets of the town or city, drawing all the buildings and encouraging the citizens to subscribe to the view that would be produced. Once the entire area was sketched and enough subscriptions obtained, the artist would use a standard projection to turn his street-level images into a bird's eye view of the town. Because these views were primarily sold to citizens of the place depicted, they had to be accurate and all buildings shown. Thus these views are not only highly decorative, but are also detailed and accurate pictures of each place shown, providing us with a wonderful documentation of nineteenth century urban America.

This is an especially interesting view because its creation was generated out of the Johnstown Flood disaster. The subtitle explains that the picture shows "the different currents by colors." Red oblongs represent houses that were left after the flood. Topography and roads illustrate the surrounding region that located the sources of the waters and the track of the destruction. Numbers on the elevated view are keyed to forty places listed below the image in the bottom margin. $425


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