17th Century Prints, 18th Century Prints, 19th Century Maps, 19th Century Prints, American Maps, American Views, Americana, Gallery Updates, Maps, Portraits, Prints

Historic America video tour of The Old Print Gallery

Last week we filmed with Aaron Killian, writer, historian, and president and founder of Historic America. Aaron is dedicated to bringing the history of our country to life through interactive publishing, tours, and the creation of digital historic research material. We were thrilled to be asked to do a video with him about our collection of historic prints- and to share our unique inventory with a whole new group of followers and history enthusiasts.

In the video, we share seven prints from our inventory, touch upon the role of prints throughout history, and talk a bit about our long 40+ year history as a gallery. It was fun morning of filming- Aaron was an engaging host, and kept the whole process super easy for this video newbie, asking stimulating and smart questions and sharing interesting facts along the way.

For more information on the prints show in the video, follow the links below:
Montanus 17th century view of St. Augustine
Edward Savage portrait of the Washington Family
Original Washington Monument Plan
Inauguration of Abraham Lincoln
Currier and Ives’ lithograph of The Battle of Bull Run
Colton’s Washington DC map
DC Circus Poster

We hope you enjoy the video! Thanks again to Aaron Killian of Historic America– we encourage all of our blog readers to book a tour with Aaron you will see DC in a whole new light and learn a lot! Also, make sure to check out the Historic America blog– you can spend hours watching his videos and reading about our nation’s past (and present)- a fantastic site for history-buffs.

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19th Century Prints, American Views, Americana, Citiscapes, Lithograph, Multi-stone Lithograph, Prints

The Rose of the Capital

The Rose of the Capital. Published by Casimer Bohn, Washington. Multi-stone lithograph, 1861. Circular. Sheet size, 13 1/2" (341 mm). Triangular envelope, 6 7/8 x 5 5/8”. LINK.

The Rose of the Capital. Published by Casimir Bohn, Washington. Multi-stone lithograph, 1861. Lithographed and Printed by E. Sachse & Co. Circular. Sheet size, 13 1/2″ (341 mm). Triangular envelope, 6 7/8 x 5 5/8”. LINK.

Today we are sharing a new addition to our inventory-  a wonderful ephemeral depiction of Washington, D.C.- Casimir Bohn’s The Rose of the Capital. As only the second example ever recorded, it is a remarkable survival.  The Rose consists of a single sheet, trimmed to a circle with scalloped edges and printed recto and verso with images of Washington landmarks arrayed radially around a central image of a rosebud.

Front of The Rose of the Capital.
Front of The Rose of the Capital. Outer Circle: Washington, U.S. Patent Office, U.S. General Post Office, President’s House, East Room in the President’s Mansion, National Observatory, U.S. Treasury. Inner Circle: Frontispiece, N.E. Wing of the Capitol, Equestrian Statue of General Jackson, Liberty, Top of Capitol, Columbus, Rescue, Statue of Washington, Equestrian Statue of Washington. DOUBLE CLICK ON IMAGE FOR DETAILED VIEW.

The highlight is a view as seen looking over the Capitol toward the Mall and the Potomac, on a much smaller scale but similar in conception to several other Sachse views of the city. Some of the other images include interior and exterior views of the White House, the House and Senate chambers, the Treasury building, and equestrian statues of the Presidents Washington and Jackson.

Back of The Rose of the Capital. Outer Circle: Senate chamber, Hall of Representatives, Smithsonian Institute, Military Asylum, U.S. Navy Yard, U.S. Arsenal, Lunatic Asylum, City Hall. Inner Circle: Congressional Library, Columbia Armory, Washington’s Tomb, Mount Vernon, Georgetown College, Columbia College, Arlington House, Washington Monument.

Back of The Rose of the Capital. Outer Circle: Senate Chamber, Hall of Representatives, Smithsonian Institute, Military Asylum, U.S. Navy Yard, U.S. Arsenal, Lunatic Asylum, City Hall. Inner Circle: Congressional Library, Columbia Armory, Washington’s Tomb, Mount Vernon, Georgetown College, Columbia College, Arlington House, Washington Monument. DOUBLE CLICK ON IMAGE FOR DETAILED VIEW.

The Rose folds to fit snugly in a fragile triangular envelope of buff paper, which almost miraculously survives here. 

Envelope Front.

Envelope Front.

Envelope Back.

Envelope Back.

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19th Century Prints, American Views, Lithograph, Prints, Two-color Lithograph

View of Washington City and Georgetown

View of Washington City and Georgetown. Published and sold by Casimir Bohn, Washington D.C. Two-color lithograph, 1849. Lith. by E. Weber & Co. Baltimore. This scarce view shows the city from the portico of the Capitol building. Pennsylvania Avenue is shown in the center right. In In the distance is the Washington Monument in its original design. To the right of that is the Observatory; to the left is the Smithsonian Institution.  Surrounding the image is a series of twenty vignette illustrations of prominent buildings and monuments of the time. These include two views of the Capitol, the White house, Navy Yard, Georgetown College, Aqueduct near Georgetown, Post Office etc.

View of Washington City and Georgetown. 

This scarce view shows the city of Washington from the portico of the Capitol building. Published and sold by Casimir Bohn, this two-color lithograph is dated 1849. It was lithographed by E. Weber & Co., Baltimore. Early colored lithographs used one or two colors to tint the entire stone and create a watercolor-like tone to the image. This atmospheric effect was primarily used for landscape or topographical illustrations. For more detailed coloration, artists relied on hand coloring over the use of multi-color lithography, which only became popular in the second half of the 19th century.

In the main image of this print, DC’s iconic Pennsylvania Avenue is shown in the center right. In the far distance is the Washington Monument, shown in its original design. To the right is the National Observatory; to the left is the Smithsonian Institution. Surrounding the main image is a series of twenty vignette illustrations of prominent buildings and monuments of the time. These include two views of the Capitol, the White house, Navy Yard, Georgetown College, Aqueduct near Georgetown, Post Office, and more.

This view is referenced in Reps’ “Views and Viewmakers” #666; and Deak’s “Picturing America”#577. It can now be viewed and purchased at our Georgetown gallery.

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19th Century Prints, American Views, Color Lithograph, Lithograph, Prints

View of Washington City

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View of Washington City. Published by E. Sachse & Co., Baltimore, Md. Lithograph printed in color, 1867. Image size 17 7/8 x 27″ (455 x 685 mm). Lith. & printed in colors by E. Sachse & Co. Agents: Charles Magnus & Co., New York, Casimir Bohn, Washington D.C.

 

This print is one of the greatest views of the capitol and the city of Washington. It was printed and published by E. Sachse, a printmaker famous for his sweeping views of cities. In this Washington view, the new Capitol building stands in the foreground, with the rest of the capital city laid out in the background. The Capitol building is artfully depicted with its domed rotunda, the old Senate and House chambers (incorrectly drawn without their domes), and the new legislative wings, identified by their elongated skylights.

Stretched out beyond the Capitol, one sees the red-bricked Smithsonian Castle. The red sandstone was harvested from nearby Seneca Creek, Maryland. When it was completed in 1855, the Castle sat on an isolated piece of land cut off from downtown Washington, DC, by a canal. In the ensuing decades, the Castle became the anchor for the National Mall, as additional museums and government buildings were constructed around it.

The Washington Monument is also visible in Sachse’s view, although incorrectly depicted. It is shown as if constructed by its original plan, drawn by architect Robert Mills years earlier. At the time of printing, the construction of Washington Monument had been halted due to a lack of funds. It was not until 1876 that construction would once again commence, and Mills’ original concept of an ornate and embellished obelisk surrounded by a ring of columns (shown here) would be scraped for a cleaner and more minimal design.

The Old Patent Office, the White House, and the Long Bridge pop up in the distance, and lead the eye towards the busy Potomac River, Georgetown Heights, and the wooded farm land of NW Washington.

To see this print in person, stop by our gallery. We are open Tuesday- Saturday, from 10am to 5:20pm. You can also view it on our website, link here.

 

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