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The Philadelphia Print Shop Americana

Popular lithographs by such firms as Currier & Ives and their contemporaries.
Genre images by important American artists of the 18th and 19th centuries.


Popular lithographsAmerican historical prints
American paintersImages of Blacks
Winslow HomerSartain Family
Thomas Nast's
Christmas Illustrations
Fire & Fire FightingRailroads
American Popular PrintsA Selection Of Interesting Prints
American Print Publishers
Currier & IvesAmerican Art Union
KelloggsEhrgott & Forbriger
Louis PrangKurz & Allison


A Selection of Interesting Prints:

Krimmel: Departure for a Boarding School
John Lewis Krimmel. "Departure for a Boarding School." From The Analectic Magazine. 1820. 4 1/2 x 6 5/8. Aquatint by Goodman & Piggot. Very good condition. Ref: Naeve, 100.

In 1812, Philadelphia bookseller and publisher Moses Thomas purchased a monthly magazine entitled Select Reviews, engaged Washington Irving as editor, and renamed the publication The Analectic Magazine. Illustration "was one of the magazine's chief distinctions. Not only were there the usual engravings on copper, but some of the earliest magazine experiments in lithography and wood engraving appeared here. The plates were chiefly portraits, though some other subjects were used." (Mott, A History of American Magazines) This is a particularly wonderful image from the magazine, drawn by Philadelphia genre painter John Lewis Krimmel. Krimmel captured better than anyone the life of the common American citizen in the first few decades of the nineteenth century. His charming scenes are filled with wonderful detail of the dress, objects and environment of everyday life. Like other Krimmel pictures a variety of things are happening among the figures. The grandmother looks up from her Bible as the school mistress is taking away the young lady student who will be missed by her young gentleman lover and the family dog. The father displays the money which allows this event to happen, and the coachman stands at the door wanting to hurry along. The girl's mother doffs her husband's hat showing that she knows manners even if her rough but wealthy husband does not. $225

Illustrated London News: Forest Fire, Fox River
"The Great Forest Fire in America: View near Fox River." London: The Illustrated London News, 4 November 1871. Wood engraving. 8 3/8 x 12 3/8.

In addition to covering the Chicago fire, The Illustrated London News noted that fire had been wreaking havoc in other parts of the United States, as well. This scene shows forests along the Fox river in either Wisconsin or Illinois. $50 GoGo to page on fire and fire fighting

Muybridge plate 616
Eadweard Muybridge. Plate 616: Canter, saddle, rider #106, Daisy. From Animal Locomotion. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania, 1887. Collotype. Approx. 19 1/8 x 24 1/8 (paper size), 13 1/2 x 19 5/8 (image size). Pencil inscriptions. Light spots, upper right, not affecting image. Else, very good condition. Ref.: Frizot, p. 247

Eadweard Muybridge (1830- 1904) is widely considered to be one of the most influential photographers in the study of motion. The English born Muybridge traveled to California around 1852. His early romantic views of the west gained him enough acclaim to be appointed the Director of Photographic Surveys for the United States government. Because the capturing of these grand western vistas required Muybridge to use huge glass collodion-treated plates, he was approached by ex-California governor Leland Stanford to photograph his beloved horse. The principal purpose was to settle a wager based on the positioning of a horse's legs in the action of trotting, the question being whether all four hooves came off the ground at the same time. After a few unsuccessful attempts, Muybridge managed to set up a battery of cameras enabling him to record split second movements. His continuing work with animals and models in motion eventually led to his invention of the "zoopraxiscope," a moving picture machine that showed a rapid succession of images. Throughout the 1880s Muybridge lectured in America and abroad. With the help of Thomas Eakins, he found sponsors at the University of Pennsylvania and there Muybridge continued his work, taking thousands of locomotion studies of men, women, children, animals and birds. The results were published in a epic portfolio of 781 folio prints after his photographs, Animal Locomotion. Muybridge's motion studies are considered to be a critical step in the evolution of photography to motion pictures. $1,550
GoGo to page with more prints from Muybridge's Animal Locomotion.

Bird: Century for March

  • Elisha Brown Bird. "The Century For March." New York: H.A. Thomas & Wylie, 1896. 20 1/4 x 13 1/8. Fold in center. Several repaired tears along margins. Slight water stain down left side. $375

    GoGo to page with more American Advertising posters.

    Authors of the US
    Thomas Hicks. "Authors of the United States." New York: Thomas Hicks, 1866. Engraving by A.H. Ritchie. 19 3/8 x 34 1/2. Good margins. Some old stains in margins. Two repaired tears in left margin, one extending ca. 4" into image. Else, very good condition.

    A superior engraving of the most famous American authors of the middle of the nineteenth century. The image was drawn and published by Thomas Hicks, a native of Bucks County who studied at the Pennsylvania Academy and National Academy of Design. Around mid-century Hicks set up a studio as a portrait painter in New York City and many prominent persons of the age sat for him. This print is really a set piece showing off Hicks' portraits. It shows authors of the United States sitting and standing in a classical setting complete with statues of famous English writers including Shakespeare and Chaucer. Statues on the upper balcony are of the founders of modern vernacular literate: Goethe, Shakespeare, and Dante. Each is clearly and accurately rendered and the whole makes a most impressive image. This engraving was by A.H. Ritchie, one of the best historic print engravers of the mid-nineteenth century. Ritchie is well known for the clarity and richness of his engravings, and this is a fine example of his work. $950

    Buttre: Happy Days of Childhood
    "The Happy Days of Childhood." New York: J.C. Buttre, 1871. 18 3/4 x 13 1/2 (image) plus margins. Lithograph (hand colored). Copyright by M.V. Wagilet. Small blue dot above title and two small punctures under the dog. Else excellent condition.

    Children swinging on a rural gate in a country setting is a lovely American scene. John Chester Buttre (1821-1893) was a prolific printmaker using wood engraving, steel engraving and lithography over a long career. Most of his work was in producing historical portraits, but this exception is a lovely expression of American vitality through youth at play. $450

    Christmas Box
    Thomas Nast. "A Christmas-Box." December 26, 1885. From Harper's Weekly. Double page. Wood engraving. Very good condition.

    Harper's Weekly, a newspaper in the last half of the nineteenth and early twentieth century, presented a mixture of news stories, gossip, poetry, and most notably, wood-engraved illustrations. Amongst the most famous of the illustrators who worked for the magazine was Thomas Nast, 'father of American political cartooning.' During the second half of the nineteenth century, Nast became the most significant illustrator of American political and social issues. His pointed cartoons exerted a great impact on public opinion. More than a mere cartoonist, Nast was an innovator of images, popularizing or instituting many now familiar subjects such as the Republican elephant, the Democratic donkey, John Bull, Uncle Sam, and Columbia. Perhaps his most lasting creation was the image of Santa Claus, that he modeled from Clement Moore's St. Nick in his Visit from Saint Nicholas and which serves as our present day jolly elf. $575
    Go to page of Thomas Nast's Christmas theme prints.


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