London: Printed for and sold by Carington Bowles, Jan. 1, 1778. Copper plate engraving with hand-coloring, 10 1/2 x 16 1/2 inches. Near fine. Matted and framed to 17 1/2 x 23 1/4 inches. Not examined out of the frame. Item #WRCAM51600
A handsome view of colonial Philadelphia, printed by the mapmaker Carington Bowles in London in 1778, showing the city as it looked in 1752. The Bowles view is based on the earlier drawing made by George Heap (the famous "Scull and Heap" view), though Bowles fails to credit Heap in any way. This was issued as a companion piece to Bowles' view of New York, issued at the same time. Both were of great topical interest because of the Revolution. Snyder writes: "Probably the most decorative of all the reissues of Scull and Heap's 1754 EAST PROSPECT of Philadelphia .... published by Carington Bowles of London during the British occupation of Philadelphia. It is of better quality and a more ambitious as well as larger work than the LONDON MAGAZINE reissue of 1761. Bowles operated a print 'warehouse' in the shadow of St. Paul's Church. His was a sharp eye, for he was able to acquire the original drawing made by George Heap that had been transported to London with such difficulty twenty-five years earlier. He stated in the new print that it was prepared directly from that source - a claim of greater merit than simply copying an earlier engraving." Snyder further notes that all copies of this view appear colored, and that this is the first state, so noted by the date of Jan. 1, 1778 in the caption. The caption includes a key labeling fourteen different places along the shoreline, including the State House, several churches, the court house, the Quaker meeting house, and several individual streets. Christ Church is the highest steeple pictured, almost directly in the center of the image, with the State House to its left and the Presbyterian Church to its right. A handsome, early view of Philadelphia. SNYDER 100, fig. 61, p.120. DEÁK, PICTURING AMERICA 101.