We love to acquire such items for our inventory, for they are fun to handle and research and they are excellent examples of what makes antique prints and maps so interesting. These items often stay in our inventory for a long time, as they wait for the right person to find them. We hope you might find your "hidden gem," or at least that you will find it interesting to learn about these wonderful items.
[Noah's Ark]. 12 5/8 x 16 34. From a Supplement to the Encyclopédie of Denis Diderot and Jean le Rond d'Alembert. Engraving supervised by Robert Benard, c. 1770.
This image is based on the Antiquités Judaïques (Antiquities of the Jews) by Flavius Josephus (37 - c. 100), a Jewish-Roman scholar who fought against the Romans in the First Jewish-Roman War, was captured, and became first a slave then a free Roman citizen. Two of his best known works were The Jewish War which described the Jewish revolt against Roman occupation (66 - 70) and Antiquities of the Jews, which gave a history of the world from a Jewish perspective and was intended for a Roman readership. These books provided valuable information about first century (C.E.) Judaism and the background of emerging Christianity.
The Encyclopédie, published in Paris between 1751 and 1772, was an example of the Enlightenment, intended to comprise all of the knowledge of the world.
Born in 1734, Robert Benard engraved some 1800 plates for the Encyclopédie. This plate indicates it was "supervised" by Benard. $350
[Victorian mother with children and miniature cart drawn by a white goat, Central Park, New York] Ca. 1870. 17 3/4 x 24 1/4". Lithograph with original hand color. Black printed margins. Very good condition.
A charming and sentimental scene of motherly attendance and affection, set in beautiful Central Park, with the Bow Bridge and Rowboat Lake, complete with swans, in the background. This beautifully hand-colored lithograph is not attributed, though there were hundreds of lithographic firms publishing in the United States at this period, the most famous of which was the firm of Currier and Ives. $525
Jacques Coelemans after Francisque Milet. "BACCHANALE." Paris: Mariette, 1744. 13 1/2 x 16 (platemarks). Line engraving. Margins. Time toning. A few abrasions on surface.
The print was made for a portfolio by Coelemans (b. Anvers 1654-d. Aix-en-Provence 1735) in celebration of the paintings and drawings in the collection of Jean-Baptiste Boyer d'Aguilles (1645-1709). Besides being a painter and engraver in his own right, Boyer was the head of a powerful family, and after his death, his wonderful collection of Renaissance art remained in the family. Jacques Coelemans being from the same provence wished to commemorate his colleague's collection and flatter the family by including engravings of his pictures in the portfolio entitled Recueil d'estampes d'apres les tableaux des peintres des plus celebres d'Italie, des Pays-bas et de France (Paris: Pierre-Jean Mariette, 1744). The entire work is a beautiful and impressive compendium of fine art that also would have elevated French national pride in the age of Louis XV. The copy of this rare portfolio which we examined in The Free Library of Philadelphia was once owned by Joshua Reynolds, so it could have inspired similar works such as John Boydell's Houghton Gallery with its rich variety of prints after paintings in another great estate.
In "Bacchanale" the old god Bacchus lies intoxicated in a garden designed around a statue of Priapus. This picture by Francisque Milet (Anvers 1644- Paris 1680) is an ebullient emblem of the stupor induced by the pagan fertility cult. Ariadne (fruitful mother of barley) helps Bacchus hold his wine goblet while to the right a satyre rides away on an ass (symbol of lust), and to the left cherubs mount a ram (symbol of aggressiveness). The entire scene is ensconced with fruitful symbols of fertility such as grapes, wheat, nuts and an oak cluster on Bacchus' head. $600
Thomas Murphy Johnston (1834-1869). [Don Quixote de la Mancha in Retirement]. Oil on canvas. Signed lower left corner “TJ” balanced in lower right corner by the resting knight's spur. 12 1/2 x 9 3/4 inches in frame 16 1/2 x 14. Excellent condition.
Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616) published his great Spanish novel in 1605-1615. This depiction of his fictitious subject was done by Thomas Murphy Johnston the son of the famous comic illustrator David Claypoole Johnston (1799-1865) known as the American Cruikshank. A number of artists with comic vitality produced many American satires and other art forms as the American art community strived to compete with British contemporaries.
Don Quixote sits with a text that entrances him while accompanied by manuscript bags probably containing his own novel as well as large tomes on a shelf behind him. His knightly helmet is retired to his table as has his sword been leaned into the composition. He has discarded one spur which is on his floor, bottom right corner. A fine American produced depiction of the power of world literature. $3,600
Plate VIII from series of cavalry prints. 18th century engraving, ca. 23 x 35. Very good condition.
This comes from an eighteenth century series of very large engravings showing scenes related to French cavalry troops. These double page (with folds) images were drawn by Van Blarenberghe and engraved by skilled craftsmen. The prints show scenes of training the horses, troops in formation, plans of attack, and so forth. They are dramatic, finely engraved, and fascinating. $500
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©The Philadelphia Print Shop, Ltd. Last updated December 14, 2016