Sold for £15,500 by Dominic Winter (20% buyer’s premium) on January 30 was an oblong folio containing three works illustrated with coloured litho plates inspired by the scenery and flora of the island of Mauritius.
Shownn is an avenue of filao trees in one of 20 plates that illustrate an 1853 first of Souvenirs de Maurice of c.1850. A dozen of the plates, including this one, are after Alfred Richard and another four after Edouard Pitot.
Nine plates by Richard also feature in an untitled series of 20 illustrations of the island’s fruits, again dated to c.1850 and issued by the same local publisher, Maisonneuve of Port Louis, but the third work, Ile Maurice of 1850, containing 16 coloured plates of trees after Pitot, was issued by Devaux.
Streets of Philadelphia
‘The City & Port of Philadelphia on the River Delaware…’ is one of 28 coloured views drawn and engraved by William Birch for an oblong folio of 1800 that was the earliest published series featuring an American city and a celebration of the young nation’s first capital. The City of Philadelphia in the State of Pennsylvania… was the work of an English-born artist who had taken up residence in the city six years earlier.
Thomas Jefferson was one of the original subscribers to a work that was many times republished and in his autobiography Birch wrote of Jefferson’s copy: “During the whole of his presidency [it] had laid on his sopha… till it became ragged and dirty, but was not suffered to be taken away”.
Offered as part of a Sotheby’s New York sale of January 24 , this original subscriber set of the plates was sold at a low-estimate $29,000 (£22,310), but copies have made as much as $110,000 in the past.