Anonymous artist. "Front View of the President's House in the City of Washington." Title page from Charles William Janson's Stranger in America. London: James Cundee, 1807. 9 x 7 3/8 (sheet). Sepia aquatint. Quarter inch repaired tear right hand side and some minor scuffing not affecting image. Else, very good condition. Very rare.
Charles William Janson was a failed barber who resided in the United States from 1793 to 1805. He travelled the United States and eventually issued in 1807 a petulant account of his years in America. This volume included nine aquatints depicting six scenes in Philadelphia, one of Mount Vernon and one in Boston. But most importantly this book contains the earliest known published image of the White House. A very scarce and important print. $725
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)
One of a very rare group of prints from a foundation work in the history of American views, the first systematic attempt to record the country's landscape. The series combines the work of some of the most talented Americans in the early nineteenth century, including the artist Joshua Shaw (ca. 1777-1860). Shaw 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. 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.
This series is seminal in the history of American prints, the first time anyone tried to produce an overall artistic documentation of American scenery. The scenes are mostly of the eastern seaboard, ranging from New York to Georgia. They show America when the country was primarily rural, and they tend to focus on the inland waterways, which were the major routes of travel and major 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. The prints are quite lovely, beautifully rendered and exquisitely aquatinted. Unfortunately, the project was not a financial success and only eighteen of the intended thirty-six prints were produced. A second edition of the portfolio was issued by Thomas T. Ash in 1835, the prints from that issue as rare as the first edition by Carey & Son. These rare prints provide us with an unusual and unique look at America in its adolescence. $1,200
Go to page with more views from the Shaw-Hill series
Prints from Giulio Ferrario's Il Costume Antico e Moderno. Florence, 1828. 2nd edition. 4 1/8 x 6 1/8. Aquatints. Original hand color. Light transfering from text and occassional light spots. Else, very good condition. Giulio Ferrario was founder of the Società tipografica de' classici italiani and served as the director of the Braidense National Library in Milan. Beginning in 1821, he issued a multi-volume work, Il Costume Antico e Moderno, on the "Ancient and Modern Costumes: The history of the government, the militia, the religion, the arts and sciences, and the customs of all people ancient and modern." This included a number of excellent, rare views of America based on various artists, including a number showing Philadelphia and the surrounding area.
An early view of the U.S. Capitol building with the Charles Bulfinch. $225
This image shows Mt. Vernon from a slight distance, with two visitors on horseback being greeted by (?) Washington and family $225
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
J.W. Hill. "Richmond Va." From The Ladies' Repository: A Monthly Periodical, Devoted To Literature and Religion. Cincinnati, June 1854. Octavo, ca. 4 1/2 x 7 1/2. Steel engraving by W. Wellstood. Very good condition.
A scarce view from The Ladies' Repository. This mid-nineteenth century periodical was produced in Cincinnati by members of the Methodist Church. It was a magazine "Devoted To Literature and Religion," containing articles, poetry, fiction, and notes of interest to its readers. One of its most interesting aspects was the inclusion of engravings. Many had a religious or "genre" theme, but others were topographical views of different parts of the United States. This magazine had a limited circulation and so these prints are quite a bit more scarce than most engravings of the period. Some of the views were based on images by W.H. Bartlett, but others were taken either from some of the large folio views of the period or drawn first hand for The Ladies' Repository. Whatever the source, this is among the most interesting and hard-to-find American views of the middle of the 19th century. $110
N.S. Bennett. "Tomb of Washington." New York: N. S. Bennett, 1859. Chromolithograph by Robertson, Schibert & Shearman. 10 1/2 x 15 1/2. Very good condition.
An exquisite and large depiction of the grave of George Washington at Mount Vernon. Bennett's imprint states that the print is published to help support the "Ladies Mount Vernon Association." As the Civil War approached, George Washington was continually held as a symbol of the Union because he was a Federalist, a slave holder, a Virginian, and a military man who held the civilian president as commander of the armed forces. Veneration of George Washington was enhanced by preservation and celebration of his famous home. $250
"Baltimore." Berlin: F. Silber, ca. 1860. 9 3/4 x 13 1/2. Lithograph. Full original color.
A terrific German print of "Baltimore," in America from the German popular print publisher F. Silber. The scene is dramatic, but also reminiscent of a view of Istanbul from across the Bosphorus. A wonderful cross-cultural image! $475
After photograph by Stacy. "View of the Capitol, showing the Present State of the Dome. Taken during the Inauguration of Lincoln, Monday, March 4, 1861." New York: Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, March 16, 1861. 14 x 8 7/8. Wood engraving. A few spots. $30
"Birdseye View of the City of Washington, with the Capitol in the Foreground." From Illustrated London News: 25 May 1861. 13 3/4 x 19 3/4 (image) with full margins. Wood engraving by G[eorge] H[enry] Andrews. A thin printer's wrinkle runs vertically to the left of the Capitol dome and the Washington Monument. A hardly noticeable flaw that is original to the piece. Not in Reps' Views and Viewmakers, but mentioned in his Washington on View, p. 117. Accompanied by a single page of text, p. 496. Overall lovely and fascinating.
This fine wood engraving is the only print that shows much detail of the continuing enlargement of the U.S. Capitol building at the beginning of the Civil War. Cranes and cables are shown around the top of the dome, and on the House of Representatives side there is much detail on the scaffolding and the staging yard with workmen handling architectural details. This was the scene two months prior to the First Battle of Bull Run.
Radiating out from Capitol Hill from left to right is Maryland Avenue which was a wide expanse leading to the Long Bridge which eventually was called the Fourteenth Street Bridge. This expansive street was soon to accommodate railroads to the south. To the right is shown the Smithsonian Institution and the Washington Monument (under construction) with the Potomac River drawn along the background. By this time Tiber Creek was being filled and called "A" or "B" Street eventually filling the creek bed and taking the name Constitution Avenue. Pennsylvania Avenue angles west to the White House which is obscured by trees; however, to the right of the avenue is City Hall, the Patent Office and U.S. Post Office. Many other buildings can be seen northwest of the Capitol. $800
"Balloon View of Washington, D.C." From Harper's Weekly. New York: July 27, 1861. Wood engraving. Repaired tear in sky. Else, very good condition.
Harper's Weekly, an illustrated newspaper issued in New York City, remains one of the best sources for lively, informative images of 19th-century America. Major artists were employed to do drawings on the spot, which were then turned into the affectionate and detailed prints through which so much of the country got its visual information about topical events and activities. Here we see a bird's eye or balloon view of Washington from near the Capitol where the new dome is still under construction, and the canal to the Potomac remains in place where Constitution Avenue now lies. $65
Prints by Charles Magnus. New York, ca. 1860-70. Lithographic transfers from engraved plates. Very good condition.
Bird's-eye views of North American cities became popular beginning around the mid-nineteenth century. These prints were originally issued in a large folio size, but publishers --such as Charles Magnus-- soon realized that there was a good market for smaller versions. These octavo sized views were issued both as separate prints for framing and as illustrations at the head of sheets of stationary paper. These very detailed prints taken from steel engravings are fascinating and quite rare.
The Edward Sachse firm in Baltimore was one of the most respected of the latter half of the nineteenth century. Known especially for prints of Washington and Baltimore, of which they produced over sixty, the images of other mid-Atlantic places are also very fine. This print was drawn, lithographed and copyrighted by the firm, though the publisher is given as Casimir Bohn. The image shows Fortress Monroe, near the mouth of the Chesapeake, with its neighbor, the famous Hygeia Hotel. The Federal fleet is seen in the Chesapeake waters as occupation of this strategic place was necessary for threatening the Confederate capital at Richmond. Most interesting are the fine details of the Union camp with barracks, tents, infantry, cavalry and even telegraph lines. Civil War military history at its best. $600
Henry Sartain. "N.E. View of the United States Capitol, Washington, D.C." Philadelphia: H. Sartain, 1863. Steel engraving by Henry Sartain. From the "proof" edition. 15 1/4 x 26 3/4 (image) plus full margins. With three rubbed areas in sky. Not in Reps, Washington on View or Monumental Washington or Pamela Scott's Temple of Liberty. A very scarce print. As the Civil War progressed, the Lincoln administration insisted that as a symbol of the progress of the Union, both the Washington Monument and the U.S. Capitol Building would continue to be built. The expansion of the Capitol with its side wings and new dome by Thomas U. Walter was the most ambitious and needed for legislative work and to accommodate the new states which were being added more quickly due to the war. Withdrawal of the South broke the deadlock caused by the slavery debate so western expansion greatly increased. Henry Sartain, scion of the Philadelphia artistic family, focused on the monumental quality of the soon to be completed building. An exuberant mélange of people, horses and dogs provided a feel for the energy and enthusiasm surrounding this important seat of government. Text to the left of the title gives a history of the old or former building, and to the right is a description of the new one. It states that George Washington laid the corner stone for the earlier building and Millard Fillmore for this one in 1851. A large and beautiful engraving. $3,200
John Bachman. "Bird's Eye View of Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and the District of Columbia." From a series titled "Panorama of the Seat of War." New York: Charles Magnus, 1864. 22 1/2 x 32 1/2 (sheet). Chromolithograph. A few short, repaired tears at top and bottom, all expertly conserved, repaired and lined. Else, very good condition.
This fascinating print is half view, half map. The scene looks down upon the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries from a 'bird's eye view.' It shows the progress of the Union blockade against the Confederates, and it was designed for a Northern audience. Along the right side one can see Wilmington, Baltimore, and Harper’s Ferry, including the water and road network that connected these points to the south. Norfolk, Petersburg, Richmond, Fredericksburg, and Washington are seen in the center of the image, with fine detail. One of few documents to show the entire Delmarva Peninsula and as far west as the Shenandoah Valley. Also shown are the forts and ships along and in the Chesapeake Bay and to the north. A dramatic and informative image of the Virginia, Maryland and West Virginia center of action during the Civil War. $2,700
Charles Magnus. "Soldiers Rest, Washington, D.C." New York: C. Magnus, 1864. Chromolithograph. 10 3/4 x 16 3/4. Bright colors and clear image. Excellent condition.
During the American Civil War, Charles Magnus printed many images for use by military personnel and the general public in the form of letterhead writing paper and envelopes and souvenirs such as this separately issued print. These were sold during the war years and often sent home to show the family where the boys and men were stationed. No doubt, such pictures were sold after the war at regimental reunions, so they had an active market.
This is one of the more interesting prints of a camp in Washington, D.C. because it not only shows the outline and architecture of Soldier's Rest, but also it shows a train arriving amid joyous cheers as well as the surrounding houses on Capitol Hill. To the right background is the U.S. Capitol shown with the Thomas U. Walter dome completed, even though in 1864 the dome was incomplete and had scaffolding on it. $850
"Harewood Hospital, Washington, D.C." New York: Charles Magnus, 1864. Lithograph. Original hand color. Ca. 10 1/2 x 17. Very good condition.
This elevated view shows the vast Harewood Hospital within the District of Columbia, which was arranged to obtain maximum fresh air for the wounded soldiers. A fine and bright print with many rural buildings in the background. $650
"Carver Barracks, Washington, D.C." New York: C. Magnus, 1864. 11 x 17 1/4. Chromolithograph. Bright colors and clear image. Excellent condition.
This view shows the Carver Barracks within the District of Columbia. The barracks consisted of both wooden buildings and many tents to handle the extra soldiers who were brought in to protect the nationâ€™s capital. A dirt road is shown passing through the camp, filled with civilian riders and carriages, and small vignettes of camp life, including hanging out laundry, are shown. $650
"Public Buildings in Washington" (The Capitol) From Picturesque America. New York: D. Appleton & Co., 1872. Very good condition.
From a charming series of prints originally issued in Picturesque America. This two- volume set and others of its genre were very popular during the mid-nineteenth century. Through their ample illustrations, they provided a glimpse of nineteenth century America - a more bucolic version than today's - with its towns, cities, rivers, ports, important architecture, and other areas of interest. Inspired, in part, by the forthcoming United States Centennial celebration in Philadelphia in 1876, this volume celebrates the variety and majesty of the maturing country. As Sue Rainey points out in her excellent Creating 'Picturesque America', the publication was "the first...to celebrate the entire continental nation, [and] it enabled Americans, after the trauma of the Civil War, to construct a national self-image based on reconciliation between North and South and incorporation of the West." (p. xiii) $50
Go to page with other Picturesque America views of the Mid-Atlantic region
J.D. Woodward. "Moonlight on the Shenandoah." From The Aldine. New York, 1873. 9 x 12 7/8. Wood engraving by C. Maurand.
The Aldine. An American Art Journal (1868-79), was started as a house organ for a New York firm of printers, but became a general magazine devoted to art and typography under the editorship of R.H. Stoddard (1871-75). It was filled with wood engravings based on art by some of the best American artists of the day, including most famously Thomas Moran, after whose work thirty-nine prints were made. Many of these, and images by other artists, featured American landscapes, showing places and buildings of interest.$65
Etchings by Anton Schutz. Very good condition. Signed in pencil.
Anton Joseph Friedrich Schutz, was born in Berndorf, Austria in 1894 and died in 1977. He came to the United States in the 1920s and became a documentary print maker depicting American cities, especially New York and vicinity, in his time. He toured Europe billed as an "American artist." His etchings can be found at the Metropolitan Museum; the Chicago Museum; Washington D.C.; National Library, in Paris; and the British Museum. He was the founder and director of the New York Graphic Society and was the author of a book published in 1939 titled New York Etchings.
Samuel Donovan [Don] Swann (1889-1954) studied art in Munich and in Rome but lived and worked in Baltimore. The focus of most of his etchings was historic Americana, particularly views of his native state. In 1939, Swann issued an illustrated book, Colonial and Historic Homes of Maryland, dealing with 18th century Maryland. Interestingly, the forward for the book was written by F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940). Swann's etchings can be found in such major collections as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the United States Naval Museum, the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian Institution.
For more information call, write, fax or e-mail to:
8441 Germantown Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19118
(215) 242-4750 [Phone]
(215) 242-6977 [Fax]
©The Philadelphia Print Shop, Ltd. Last updated May 29, 2015