After J.W. Hill and B.F. Smith and executed by G. G. Lange. “Philadelphia.” [Girard College in the foreground].
Darmstadt: 1858. First state prior to Magnus issue. 4 5/8 x 7 ¾ (image). 10 5/8 x 8 ¼ (sheet). Lithograph. Hand color. Full margins. Very good condition. Prints of Philadelphia, item 192. Snyder Mirror of America: 645. A/A
An unused antique letter sheet showing a view of the city from the roof of Founder’s Hall at Girard College. . Letter sheets were often used as stationery or for mailing purposes - a message would be written on the inside and then folded over and sealed (possibly with wax) for mailing without an envelope. Beginning around mid-century, bird’s-eye views of American cities became very popular. These were originally issued in the large folio size, but publishers, such as Charles Magnus of New York, soon realized that there was a market for smaller versions of these prints. With more information and rarer than the usual street scenes, this print is a most desirable image of nineteenth century America. The Magnus views of this size appeared as letter head ornaments, book illustrations, and also to be framed.