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The Philadelphia Print Shop

Prints of Philadelphia

Priced under $250

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Clermont Seminary
Views of Philadelphia from The Port Folio. Philadelphia. Engravings.

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, including quite a number with a Philadelphia topic. The scenes were often of buildings of particular interest in the early nineteenth century, not necessarily those that are famous today. Thus these prints provide a interesting and more varied view of the city than that found in most other series of the time.

Thomas Doughty. "Fairmount Waterworks from the West." From Cephas G. Childs' Views of Philadelphia. Philadelphia: C.G. Childs, 1827-1830. Octavo. Copper engraving by William. E. Tucker. Very good condition.

Almost three decades after the publication of the first edition of William Birch's City of Philadelphia, Cephas Childs published the second comprehensive series of prints of the city, entitled Views of Philadelphia. The series contained twenty six views of major sites in the city, each rendered by a prominent American artist or architect, including Thomas Doughty, George and William Strickland, Thomas Sully, John Haviland, Thomas Birch and George Lehman. Many new buildings had been erected in the years since the turn of the century, and Childs' detailed prints provide a precious view of many of these. The detail and composition of the engravings is excellent, and they provide an fascinating overall view of the city with its new look. $175
GoGo to page with listing of other Childs' views of Philadelphia

State House
"Casa dello State di Pensilvania in Filadelfia." [Independence Hall.] From Giulio Ferrario's Il Costume Antico e Moderno. Florence, 1828. 2nd edition. 4 1/8 x 6 1/4. Aquatint by Bernardoni. Original hand color. Light text transference, most noticeable in sky and left margin. Else very good condition.

An unusual print of the State House in Philadelphia, now known as Independence Hall. The print was issued in a rare Italian work which contained illustrations of all parts of the world. As one of the 'must see' sites in North America in the early nineteenth century, the Pennsylvania State House was of course illustrated. The print is based on the image which appeared in Columbia Magazine, July 1787, and it is beautifully rendered. The workmanship, delicacy of the aquatinting, and fine detail make this rare print a wonderful example of fine Italian craftsmanship at the beginning of the nineteenth century. $225

Prints from Hinton's The History and Topography of the United States of North America. Published in London and Boston, various publisher: 1830-1855. Octavo. Steel engraving. Very good condition. Uncolored unless noted otherwise.

Lovely examples of steel engravings from one of the more popular nineteenth century view books, Hinton's History and Topography. This work contained text and numerous illustrations documenting the history and topography of the United States. Hinton used many different artists, all the engravings being made from drawings made on the spot. For their wide coverage, accurate detail, and pleasing appearance, these are amongst the finest small images of early nineteenth century America to be found anywhere.

Note: We get these images from different editions of the work, by different publishers. They differ slightly in size and some editions have decorative engraving around the image. Please contact us to find the exact edition we currently have in stock.

Views from Day's Historical Collections

Day view of Norristown

Views from Sherman Day's Historical Collections of the State of Pennsylvania. Philadelphia: George W. Gorton 1843. 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.

Full page illustrations. Ca. 3 1/4 x 6 1/2:

Half page illustrations. Ca. 2 x 4:


Sears: Institution of the Deaf and Dumb
"Institution of the Deaf and Dumb in Philadelphia." From Robert Sears' Pictorial Library. New York: 1846. 3 5/8 x 5 3/8. Wood engraving. Light stains in margins, else very good condition.

Robert Sears was a New York publisher of "Popular Pictorial Works." Sears' publications included histories, bibles, and descriptions of various parts of the world, each "most splendidly-illustrated" with wood engravings; these books were intended for "all persons interested in the diffusion of useful knowledge. A Book for the Wives and Children of the Farmer, Mechanic, Laborer, Physician, Lawyer, and Divine "for Persons in every sphere and station of Life, and for Followers of every Pursuit." This view of what is now Philadelphia's University of the Arts' Dorrance Hamilton Hall comes from his Pictorial Library published in 1846. It shows the handsome neo-classical building on South Broad Street that was designed by John Haviland in 1824. $65


Views from Bowen's Pictorial Sketch-Book

Bowen: Falls of Schuylkill

Views from Eli Bowen's The Pictorial Sketch-Book of Pennsylvania. Philadelphia: William Bromwell, 1853. Wood-engravings.

An excellent series of views of Pennsylvania from a guide book of Pennsylvania's "Scenery, Internal Improvements, Resources, and Agriculture, Popularly Described." The volume included descriptions of all parts of Pennsylvania, but its feature of most note was the inclusion of numerous engraved illustrations of scenes of all parts of the state. Another series of excellent images of Pennsylvania communities, both large and small.


United States Bank
Views from Meyer's Universum Or Views Of The Most Remarkable Places And Objects Of All Countries. New York: Herrmann J. Meyer, 1852. Steel engravings. Ca. 4 x 6. Very good condition.

Bartlett: US Bank
Prints by W.H. Bartlett. From American Scenery. London, 1839-40. 4 3/4 x 7 1/4. Engravings. Hand color. Very good condition.

The four views by William H. Bartlett are perhaps the most popular prints of Philadelphia ever issued.

"The United States Bank, Philadelphia." Illustrated above. NA

"The Exchange and Girards Bank. (Philadelphia.)" NA "Fairmount Gardens, with the Schuylkill Bridge. (Philadelphia.)" NA "Schuylkill Water Works." NA

GoGo to listing of other US views by Bartlett

Hill-Smith: Philadelphia
J.W. Hill & B.F. Smith, Jr. "Philadelphia." From The Ladies' Repository: A Monthly Periodical, Devoted To Literature and Religion. Cincinnati: September, 1855. Octavo. 5 x 7 3/4. Steel engraving by Wellstood. Very good condition.

An unusual and scarce steel engraving 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 steel 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 steel engravings of the period. Some of the views are based on images by W.H. Bartlett, but others are taken either from some of the large folio views of the period or are drawn first hand for The Ladies' Repository. This view is based on the famous Hill & Smith bird's eye view issued in very large folio. Whatever their source, these are among the most interesting and hard-to-find American views of the middle of the 19th century. $150

Philadelphia from Belmont - West Park
"Granville Perkins. "Philadelphia from Belmont. (West Park.)" From Picturesque America. New York: D. Appleton & Co., 1873. Steel engraving by R. Hinshelwood. Hand color. Excellent condition.

This lovely view of Fairmount Park, west of the Schuylkill river, is from Picturesque America, a publication inspired by the prose of William Cullen Bryant. A charming image of Fairmount Park, the largest urban park in the world. $125
GoGo to page with listing of other Philadelphia prints from Picturesque America.

Art Gallery
"Art Gallery." From Thompson Wescott's Centennial Portfolio. Philadelphia: Thomas Hunter, 1876. 4 1/2 x 8 1/2. Tinted lithograph. Very good condition.

The Centennial Exhibition was one of the greatest tourist attractions of the era, with visitors not just from across the United States, but also from all around the world. With all the tourists and world-wide interest in the exhibition, there were many souvenirs issued; one of the most detailed and best produced was Thompson Westcott's Centennial Portfolio. This consisted of a group of fine, tinted lithographs showing all the buildings of the Exhibition, including the main buildings, as well as the smaller state and other buildings. Unfortunately, only two of the buildings (the Art Gallery and the Ohio Building) are still standing, but these images provide us with an excellent look at what this magnificent exhibition would have looked like. This is a nice example from the series of one of the two standing buildings. $175
GoGo to page with listing of other prints of the Centennial Exhibition.

Pyle: 1st Public Reading of the Declaration of Independence
Howard Pyle. "The First Public Reading of the Declaration of Independence -- The Members of Congress Leaving Independence Hall." From Harper's Weekly. New York, July 10, 1880. 13 1/4 x 19 3/4. Wood engraving. $250

Welch's Circus
Prints by Henry B. McIntire. Ca. 1950. Uncolored. Very good condition.

Henry B. McIntire was an architectural illustrator flourishing in Philadelphia in the 1950s. He was active in the Historical Society of Pennsylvania and prepared checklists of the historical prints in the collection (published in the Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography in 1942) as well as a listing of holdings of the drawings and watercolors of David J. Kennedy. His illustrations were both contemporary and historic and they are excellent for their accuracy and detail.

Philadelphia Churches

From Historic Churches of America, Their Romance and Their History. Philadelphia: H. L. Everett, 1892-94. Very good condition.

Henry L. Everett was a Philadelphia publisher whose business in 1890 was at 227 South 6th Street. Historic Churches of America, published in the 1890s, contained illustrations and essays relating to about 60 churches, cathedrals, meetings and missions in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

D.W. Hutton. [Christ Church. Philadelphia.] 1956. 11 3/4 x 7 1/4. Wood engraving; signed in plate. Excellent condition. $175


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Philadelphia views home pageFine art prints of Philadelphia
Centre Square WaterworksMaps of Philadelphia & Environs
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©The Philadelphia Print Shop, Ltd. Last updated November 22, 2019