The Philadelphia Print Shop, Ltd. Featured Prints and Maps


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The prints and maps listed below are among our favorite and most unusual, but they are items which are not generally known and are not widely popular. These are prints and maps that fall outside the usual areas of collecting or that have an unusual nature, but they are all of considerable interest and value.

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
[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

Family in Central Park with Goat Cart
[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

Plate VIII
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 October 22, 2019