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The Philadelphia Print Shop Americana

Popular lithographs by such firms as Currier & Ives and their contemporaries.
Genre images by important American artists of the 18th and 19th centuries.


Popular lithographsAmerican historical prints
American paintersImages of Blacks
Winslow HomerSartain Family
Thomas Nast's
Christmas Illustrations
Fire & Fire FightingRailroads
American Popular PrintsA Selection Of Interesting Prints
American Print Publishers
Currier & IvesAmerican Art Union
KelloggsEhrgott & Forbriger
Louis PrangKurz & Allison


A Selection of Interesting Prints:

Burning of Chicago
"The Burning of Chicago." New York: Currier & Ives: 1871. Lithograph. Original hand color. Small folio. 8 1/8 x 12 5/8. With some wear in and stains in margins. C: 738.
The great fire of Chicago was, of course, that of 1871. This prompted the publication of a series of dramatic images by various firms, including Currier & Ives. This print shows the city consumed by a raging fire, with people fleeing to the shore. Dramatic, but not very accurate as the wind is shown blowing the wrong direction. $1,800
GoGo to page on fire and fire fighting

Muybridge plate 640
Eadweard Muybridge. Plate 640: Jumping a hurdle, saddle, bay horse, Daisy. From Animal Locomotion. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania, 1887. Collotype. Approx. 19 1/8 x 24 1/8 (paper size), 13 1/2 x 19 5/8 (image size). Pencil inscriptions. Very good condition. Ref.: Frizot, p. 247

Eadweard Muybridge (1830- 1904) is widely considered to be one of the most influential photographers in the study of motion. The English born Muybridge traveled to California around 1852. His early romantic views of the west gained him enough acclaim to be appointed the Director of Photographic Surveys for the United States government. Because the capturing of these grand western vistas required Muybridge to use huge glass collodion-treated plates, he was approached by ex-California governor Leland Stanford to photograph his beloved horse. The principal purpose was to settle a wager based on the positioning of a horse's legs in the action of trotting, the question being whether all four hooves came off the ground at the same time. After a few unsuccessful attempts, Muybridge managed to set up a battery of cameras enabling him to record split second movements. His continuing work with animals and models in motion eventually led to his invention of the "zoopraxiscope," a moving picture machine that showed a rapid succession of images. Throughout the 1880s Muybridge lectured in America and abroad. With the help of Thomas Eakins, he found sponsors at the University of Pennsylvania and there Muybridge continued his work, taking thousands of locomotion studies of men, women, children, animals and birds. The results were published in a epic portfolio of 781 folio prints after his photographs, Animal Locomotion. Muybridge's motion studies are considered to be a critical step in the evolution of photography to motion pictures. $1,400
GoGo to page with more prints from Muybridge's Animal Locomotion.

Day: February Century
Francis Day. "February Century." New York, circa 1890's. Minor stain along left side. Several small, repaired tears in margins. $300

GoGo to page with more American Advertising posters.

Authors of the US
Thomas Hicks. "Authors of the United States." New York: Thomas Hicks, 1866. Engraving by A.H. Ritchie. 19 3/8 x 34 1/2. Good margins. Some old stains in margins. Two repaired tears in left margin, one extending ca. 4" into image. Else, very good condition.

A superior engraving of the most famous American authors of the middle of the nineteenth century. The image was drawn and published by Thomas Hicks, a native of Bucks County who studied at the Pennsylvania Academy and National Academy of Design. Around mid-century Hicks set up a studio as a portrait painter in New York City and many prominent persons of the age sat for him. This print is really a set piece showing off Hicks' portraits. It shows authors of the United States sitting and standing in a classical setting complete with statues of famous English writers including Shakespeare and Chaucer. Statues on the upper balcony are of the founders of modern vernacular literate: Goethe, Shakespeare, and Dante. Each is clearly and accurately rendered and the whole makes a most impressive image. This engraving was by A.H. Ritchie, one of the best historic print engravers of the mid-nineteenth century. Ritchie is well known for the clarity and richness of his engravings, and this is a fine example of his work. $950

Buttre: Happy Days of Childhood
"The Happy Days of Childhood." New York: J.C. Buttre, 1871. 18 3/4 x 13 1/2 (image) plus margins. Lithograph (hand colored). Copyright by M.V. Wagilet. Small blue dot above title and two small punctures under the dog. Else excellent condition.

Children swinging on a rural gate in a country setting is a lovely American scene. John Chester Buttre (1821-1893) was a prolific printmaker using wood engraving, steel engraving and lithography over a long career. Most of his work was in producing historical portraits, but this exception is a lovely expression of American vitality through youth at play. $450

Christmas Box
Thomas Nast. "A Christmas-Box." December 26, 1885. From Harper's Weekly. Double page. Wood engraving. Very good condition.

Harper's Weekly, a newspaper in the last half of the nineteenth and early twentieth century, presented a mixture of news stories, gossip, poetry, and most notably, wood-engraved illustrations. Amongst the most famous of the illustrators who worked for the magazine was Thomas Nast, 'father of American political cartooning.' During the second half of the nineteenth century, Nast became the most significant illustrator of American political and social issues. His pointed cartoons exerted a great impact on public opinion. More than a mere cartoonist, Nast was an innovator of images, popularizing or instituting many now familiar subjects such as the Republican elephant, the Democratic donkey, John Bull, Uncle Sam, and Columbia. Perhaps his most lasting creation was the image of Santa Claus, that he modeled from Clement Moore's St. Nick in his Visit from Saint Nicholas and which serves as our present day jolly elf. $575
Go to page of Thomas Nast's Christmas theme prints.


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