William Birch. “Bath, near Bristol, Pennsylvania.” From The Port Folio.
Philadelphia, June, 1811. 4 x 6 3/8. Engraving. Very good condition. Fielding: 1781.
The Port Folio was a new type of American magazine, “Devoted to Useful Science, the Liberal Arts, Legitimate Criticism, and Polite Literature.” It was a product of the new century, appearing first in January 1801. It began as a weekly issue until 1809, when it became monthly until its demise at the end of 1827. As with the many magazines that followed it, The Port Folio included numerous illustrations, such as this attractive view by William Birch. Birch gained prominence as for his important volume, The City of Philadelphia, first published in 1800. Birch was a miniature painter as well as a landscapist, and he had an acute eye for detail as well as a painterly sense of design. This is a scene of a country house, Bath, located near Bristol, just south of Philadelphia on the Delaware River. All images by Birch are desirable and this is one of the more unusual.