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Images related to The Society of Friends or Quakers

The Philadelphia Print Shop

Q for Quaker

Prints relating to
The Society of Friends or Quakers

William Penn

[ Portraits & Caricatures | Willliam Penn & Penn's Treaty | Friends' Meetinghouses & other scenes ]



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Portraits & Caricatures


Mr. West and Family
Benjamin West. "Mr. West and Family." London: John Boydell, 1773. 20 x 25 1/2 (image). Stipple engraving. Hair margin. Title is separate having been cut off in the past. Dedication: "To her Imperial Majesty of all the Russia's [sic]; this plate is respectfully Dedicated, by her most dutiful and Obedient humble servants, published July 26th, 1779 by John Boydell Engraver Cheapside London." A few spots. Strong and even impression.

By 1772, when the original painting was created, Benjamin West was established in London as a history painter and portraitist, and his family visited from Pennsylvania. Historians have assumed that he made this group portrait for his family so they could remember these elder Quakers. Benjamin West holds his palette and maulstick and stands to the right looking past his father and brother at his family. Closest to him is his father, John, next his half-brother Thomas, and Betsy Shewell West holds Benjamin West Jr. while Raphael leans on his mother's chair and looks out to engage the viewer. The appeal of this image went far beyond the austere and serious West family because John Boydell decided to publish and distribute this stipple engraving, probably to Quakers, in Great Britain and America. The Quakers would have been proud that one of their own was history painter to George III. The original painting is now in the private collection of the late Paul Mellon in Upperville, Virginia. $1,400



Edwin: Waln
"Nicholas Waln. Nat. 1741 [sic] - OB. 1813." Aquatint by Edwin. 5 x 4 1/8". Light soiling of paper, else very good condition. $45



Dighton: Friend Rothschild
Richard Dighton. (1795-1880) "Is Friend Rothschild on 'Change." (Samuel Gurney). London: Drawn, etched, and published by Richard Dighton, March 17, 1823 and inscribed in pencil "Mr. Gurney." 11 7/8 x 8 5/8. Original hand color. Full margins. Extensive spotting. Else, good condition.

A Quaker banker, Samuel Gurney (1786-1856) was a member of Parliament where he campaigned for good causes, such as the abolition of slavery. Along with Jews Sir Moses Montefiore and Nathan Mayer Rothschild, leading financiers such as John Irving and Francis Baring, and fellow Quakers, Gurney was instrumental in founding of the Alliance Assurance Company in 1824. In 1849, in the middle of the Great Famine, in which a million people died, he toured Ireland, making generous donations. He also sent money to Liberia, founded by former American slaves; a town there was named after him in 1851. He advocated for, and helped to fund, Britain's first hospital for dock workers, established in 1855 in east London. $300



Grevedon: Benjamin West
"B. West." [Portrait of Benjamin West] After a drawing by Pierre-Louis dit Henri Grevedon (1776-1860). Lithographed by C. Motte in Paris circa. 1830. Hand coloring. 13 x 11 (image and text). Full margins. Excellent condition.

As the French empire of Napoleon Bonaparte was falling apart in the early second decade of the nineteenth century, the young French artist Henri Grevedon visited England and the studio of Benjamin West. This portrait shows the older and mature master of historical paintings regarding his subject with a concentrated stare. A fine and unusual life study. $425



Lawrence: Benjamin West
Sir Thomas Lawrence, P.R.A. "BENJAMIN WEST, P.R.A." New York: William Hayward, January 1st 1842. 27 3/4 x 18 1/4 (plate mark). Engraved by Charles Rolls. Sold by Thomas Boys XI Golden Square, London. One inch repaired tear in bottom, right margin. Strong strike.

The American-born painter Benjamin West (1738-1820) had risen to the pinnacle of success as a history painter in 1792 when he became president of the Royal Academy. In 1818 John Trumbull, as president of the American Academy, asked Sir Thomas Lawrence to paint a full length portrait of West for $2,000. It was finished after West's death and sent to New York in 1822. The original portrait showing West in a long robe that he wore in his studios painting and lecturing was sold to the Wadsworth Athenaeum in 1855. Lawrence made a copy for himself.

This bold portrait published both in America and England is a fitting tribute to Benjamin West during this age of appreciation for fine and nationalistic art. $925



Harlow: Benjamin West
G.H. Harlow. "Benjamin West P.R.A." For The Ladies' Repository. Cincinnati: 1847. Engraving by W. Wellstood. 5 3/4 x 4 7/8". Light soiling of paper, else very good condition.

One of a scarce group of excellent American engravings 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 many 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 are based on images by W.H. Bartlett, but other images are taken either from large folio views of the period or are drawn first hand for The Ladies' Repository. $55



Henry L. Stephens. "Old Shad and Young." Print from The Comic Natural History of the Human Race. Philadelphia: Samuel Robinson, 1851. Printed in colors by Rosenthal. Approx. 7 x 6. Very good condition.

A very interesting and amusing series of prints of Philadelphia's most well-known social figures and types in the mid-nineteenth century. Strong, recognizable faces perch comically atop animal bodies, each with a witty title designed to draw a chuckle. Originally issued in eight installments, thirty-nine plates were eventually printed to be bound into the complete collection of politicians and artists, businessmen and paupers.

"Shad" was a term for Protestant dissenters in Philadelphia, including Quakers and Mennonites. Designed by Stephens with a sharp wit, the plates were printed by the Rosenthal brothers with considerable innovation. Trained in lithography while in Europe, Max, Louis, Simon, and Morris Rosenthal emigrated from Poland to the United States in the late 1840s, where they worked for famous Philadelphia printer/publisher P.S. Duval. Eventually establishing their own firm, the brothers are known in print history for developing chromolithography in the United States. In these prints, one can see the early expertise they employed in printing with color. All in all, these prints are a wonderful example of early chromolithography, and also have a wonderful whimsical appeal. $85



From John F. Watson's Annals of Philadelphia and Pennsylvania in the Olden Times. Philadelphia: Whiting & Thomas, 1856.

Wet Quaker
Spy. "a wet Quaker." [Lewis Llewellyn Dillwyn, M.P.] From Vanity Fair. London: May 13, 1882. Image: approximately 7 x 12". Very good condition.

From 1868 until February 5, 1914, Vanity Fair, a weekly magazine of social, literary and political content, was published to the delight of Victorian and later, Edwardian England. Most popular of its features were the wonderful full page caricatures of famous men and women of the day, prints that remain Vanity Fair's great legacy. The two most famous artists who worked for Vanity Fair were "Ape" (Carlo Pellegrini) and "Spy" (Leslie Ward), but many other artists provided images for this long running series of delightful caricatures. $35



Q for Quaker
William Nicholson. "Q for Quaker." From An Alphabet. New York: R.H. Russell, 1898. Ca. 9 1/2 x 7 3/4. Color lithographic transfer from wood block. Very good condition. $250



William Penn & Penn's Treaty


Boydell: Penn's Treaty
Benjamin West. "William Penn's Treaty with the Indians, when he founded the Province of Pensylvania in North America 1681." London: John Boydell, 1775. 17 1/2 x 23 3/4. Engraving by John Hall. Printed on laid paper. Either late 18th century or early 19th century strike. Print mounted onto board and top and side margins trimmed to image. Several tears and creases in image. Otherwise, nice impression in fair condition. Attractive full hand color. Snyder: 238; Fowble: 130.

Legend has it that William Penn signed a treaty with the Indians for his lands in 1681 under the Treaty Elm, located in what is now Kensington. Though the scene is apocryphal, Benjamin West's famous painting of the event is one of the most copied of all pictures of Philadelphia. The painting was commissioned by William Penn, and it was finished in 1771. This is an example of the first print made from that painting, published by John Boydell in London in 1775. West's depiction was accepted throughout Europe and America as an accurate portrayal of this legendary event, and it has become one of the most influential images in Pennsylvania iconography.

The print shows an honest looking William Penn trading goods for the rights to the land. The Indians and Europeans all appear very civilized. The idealized figures of the Indians were modeled from statues in the Vatican, which West sketched when studying in Rome. While completely fictitious, the several large buildings shown under construction in the background were intended to imply the prosperity of Pennsylvania, the same intent of the many ships seen riding in the Delaware off in the distance. An influential and fascinating eighteenth century image. $2,600



William Penn
Henry Inman. "William Penn." Philadelphia: 1834-35. Engraved and printed by John Sartain. 20 3/4 x 15 3/4. Very good condition.

A classic full length portrait of the founder of Pennsylvania holding his charter from the English king in his right hand and a glove symbolizing elegance and status in his left. The landscape background shows the native Indians as the noble savage, while a peaceful landscape shows a great tree, which could be the treaty oak in Philadelphia, and if so, then the river is the Delaware with an Indian canoe in the far distance. The print was produced by the mezzotint process by John Sartain (1808-1897). Sartain, known as the "father of mezzotint engraving" in the U.S. popularized this elaborate printmaking process when he emigrated to this country from England in 1830. His prints always have a strong and rich texture that enhances their aesthetic qualities considerably, This image is based on a painting by Henry Inman, an artist known particularly for his portraits. Ref.: Ann Katharine Martinez. The Life and Career of John Sartain (1808-1897) , unpublished dissertation at George Washington University (Washington, D.C., 4 May 1986), fig. 13. $950



After Benjamin West. "Wm. Penn's Treaty with the Indians when he Founded the Province of Pennsa. 1661." New York: N. Currier, 1838-56. Small folio: 8 1/8 x 12 1/2. Lithograph. Original hand color. Trimmed margins. Otherwise, very good condition. C:6697.

From 1834 to 1907 the firm of Nathaniel Currier, and then Currier and Ives, provided for the American people a pictorial history of their country's growth from an agricultural society to an industrialized one. For nearly three quarters of a century the firm provided "Colored Engravings for the People," becoming the visual raconteurs of 19th century America.

In 1834 Nathaniel Currier established the firm which produced colored pictures using a then-new process called lithography. Some of the finest artists of the day, including Louis Maurer, Thomas Worth, Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait, Frances Flora Bond Palmer, George H. Durrie, Napoleon Sarony, Charles Parsons and J.E. Butterworth were engages by the firm to produce a variety of images. First printed in black and white, prints were then colored with imported Austrian pigments, by German women employed by the firm. Ready for foreign and domestic distribution, the prints were sold at home and abroad, sold to shops, mailed through catalogues, and hawked by push-cart peddlers, whose carts were covered with images selling for a few pennies apiece.

The firm produced two types of prints-"rush" stock prints quickly made to provide information about newsworthy events, and "stock" prints depicting every conceivable subject relating to American life, such as city views, sports, games, home life, religion, entertainment, and so forth. These print had a profound effect on popular culture, reflecting and influencing the tastes, attitudes and perception of the world held by many Americans.

This lithograph used as its source the famous large painting by Benjamin West that has also been reproduced by printmakers in the 18th and 19th centuries. The original painting hangs at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia. $575



Wm. Penns Treaty
"Wm. Penns Treaty with the Indians when he Founded the Province of Pennsa. 1661." New York: J. Baillie, ca. 1850. 8 5/8 x 12 1/4. Lithograph. Original hand color. Spot in margin below title. Else, very good condition. $425

From John F. Watson's Annals of Philadelphia and Pennsylvania in the Olden Times. Philadelphia: Whiting & Thomas, 1856.

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



Penn Mutual: Penn
C.R.G. "WM. PENN." Philadelphia: Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company, ca. 1940. 19 x 13 3/16. Screen print. Wide margins. $125



Friends' Meetinghouses & other scenes



Views from Sherman Day's Historical Collections of the State of Pennsylvania. Philadelphia: George W. Gorton 1843. 2 1/4 x 4. Wood engravings.

During the middle of the nineteenth century, Pennsylvania's economy experienced new, state-wide growth, sparking new interest in previously lesser-known areas of the state. Prompting travel to new communities, this economic growth also sparked publication of new books to satisfy curiosity about all parts of Pennsylvania. One of the most important such works, Sherman Day's Historical Collections is noted for its individual county histories, well-illustrated with charming wood-engravings. Covering larger cities like Philadelphia and Reading, the images also display the Keystone state's smaller towns and rural sites. Relying on first-hand sketches, the printer translated the images into wood-engraving, which allowed for mass printing and distribution of this important early set of state-wide illustrations. In some cases, Day's views comprise the only mid-nineteenth century views of Pennsylvania's smaller communities. From the well-known views of Philadelphia to the obscure country landscapes, prints from Day's volume are treasured documents of state history.



From John F. Watson's Annals of Philadelphia and Pennsylvania in the Olden Times. Philadelphia: Whiting & Thomas, 1856. Wood engravings.