John James Barralet. "View of the Water Works At Centre Square Philadelphia".
Philadelphia: H. Quig, ca. 1830+. Fourth state. 11 3/4 x 20 1/8. Stipple by Cornelius Tiebout. Hand color. Several expertly repaired tears in margins with just into image. Else, very good condition. Fowble: 286; Stauffer 3234, Snyder, 110.
This lovely view of the Centre Square Waterworks was drawn by John James Barralet (ca. 1747-1815), an Irish artist who came to Philadelphia about 1795. Barralet had established a reputation as a landscape and historical artist in Dublin and London. When he first arrived in Philadelphia he was hired as an engraver with Alexander Lawson, and he took up painting scenes in and around Philadelphia. The engraving is by Cornelius Tiebout, who worked in New York, London and finally Philadelphia around 1799. Tiebout was the best of the early, American-born engravers, and this lovely etching is one of his finest works. This is the fourth state of the print, probably issued in the early 1830s. H. Quig acquired Tiebout's plate, and it appears that he added a small figure to the center of the print, perhaps in an attempt to enliven the scene. This figure was crudely engraved, quite out of scale, and so Quig attempted to burnish the image off the plate. This erasure was only partially successful, and so the third and fourth states of the print shows a light ghost image of this unfortunate interloper. The fourth state is distinguished from the third by the appearance of Quig's imprint at the bottom.