Category Archives: Blocks plates stones

Highland Jeans 1839

Copperplate laterally reversed above, as engraved below

With sincere thanks to W. Allen Scheuch II, Princeton Class of 1976, the Graphic Arts Collection has an early 19th-century engraved copper plate from the Highland Jeans company. There is no information on this manufacturer other than a series of 1839 dry-goods advertisements by Samuel Seay in Tennessee.

In searching historic cotton and woolen mills from the time, in that area, John N. Lovett, Jr has written a detailed survey available online. A small section is posted below.

The manufacturers of textile machinery found their beginnings well before the Civil War, primarily in the New England area. Prior to that time, almost all textile machinery was built in England. The primitive machines fabricated in the United States in the years following Samuel Slater’s arrival in Rhode Island in the 1790’s were hand-crafted by artisans according to specifications furnished by a handful of knowledgeable people. The first machines built were carding machines, similar to the one surviving in Ketner’s Mill in Marion County. The spinning jack, a vast improvement over the jenny, was invented in England around 1810, and began to appear in American textile mills in New England circa 1820. Power looms first appeared in New England about 1815.

By the 1840’s, all these machines were universally employed in the larger textile factories. It is obvious from the surviving schedules of the 1820 Census of Manufactures for Tennessee that several carding machines were in operation. There are also some references to spinning factories prior to 1820 in the state, but these recollections are often difficult to verify. One source accepted as reliable is Eastin Morris’ Tennessee Gazetteer of 1834. This remarkable work includes references to three spinning factories, six cotton factories, and a cotton/woolen mill in the state. It is also known that several textile factories were in production in the state in the 1840’s. By this time, large manufacturers of textile machinery were established in New England. Some of the better known are highlighted below.

The Davis and Furber Company of North Andover, Massachusetts, was established before the Civil War, and survived until recent years. It was perhaps the longest-lived and largest manufacturer of most types of textile machinery, including pickers, cards, and spinning jacks and mules. The only product of this company known to survive in Tennessee is an 1866 Davis and Furber finishing card at Falls Mill in Franklin County. Crompton Loom Works. In the early 1840’s, a large textile mill in Massachusetts put into operation several power looms designed by a newly emigrated British mechanic named William Crompton. Soon after, the Crompton Loom Works was established in Worcester, Massachusetts. William’s son George took over the business later, and by 1876 the company was producing an extensive line of looms of many types. The company became Crompton and Knowles and continued to build looms well into the twentieth century. The only Crompton looms known in Tennessee are the three in the Falls Mill collection, two small plain looms and a large broad loom, manufactured in the early 1870’s.

Rhode Island manufacturer William Dean Davis began his business selling kerseys and linseys, for example, but in 1839 added all-wool jeans and plains. Jean was most commonly all cotton or cotton warp with a woolen weft, in a twill (diagonal rib) weave, and categorized with other durable fabrics meant for working clothes, such as fustian and denim.–Historic Context Evaluation For Mills In Tennessee by John N. Lovett, Jr., Ph.D.

“‘Everything will be remembered’, a palimpsest” by Ravikumar Kashi

Ravikumar Kashi, ‘Everything will be remembered’ a palimpsest. Bangalore, India, 2020. Unique edition. Etched copper plate filled with printing ink, copper wire. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2020- in process

The Graphic Arts Collection is honored to acquire Ravikumar Kashi’s ‘Everything will be remembered’ a palimpsest, one of four finalist for the 2020 Minnesota Center for Book Arts (MCBA) Prize, selected by juror Betty Bright from 158 submissions sent from 18 countries. “Established in 2009, this biennial award is meant to represent the diversity of approaches to book art, honoring one winner and four finalists for their unity of form, material, and content.”

Born in Bangalore, India, Ravikumar Kashi ( studied painting, printmaking, and papermaking under masters in India, Scotland, and Korea. He received a National award from Lalit Kala Akademi, Delhi in 2001 and two awards from Karnataka Lalita Kala Academy 1990, 1999 and one from Karnataka Shilpa Kala Academy for his works in 2000. He has also received first prize in ‘Ventipertrenta’, International Festival of Digital Art 2017, from Museo Internazionale Dinamico de Arte Contemporanea, Italy.


Note: “The type face of the second layer of the text is an English font called Samarkan, designed to look like a Sanskrit text, and is intended to act as a visual marker for the Indian right-wing practice of quoting ancient texts to gain validation. It is also a simulation of ancient handwritten palm leaf text manuals from India.”


Here is a portion of his artist statement for MCBA, beginning with the background for the work:

On 30th May 2019, the Indian right wing party BJP led by Mr. Narendra Modi formed the central government for a second time. Its election campaign was replete with anti- Muslim rhetoric and sloganeering. That same year, on the 12th of December, the Government of India enacted the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). In the weeks following, nationwide protests calling for the repealing the CAA and the foregoing of the National Register of Citizens (NRC), which was supposed to precede CAA, were held….

In early 2020, following speeches given by BJP leaders inciting their followers to attack and shoot anti-CAA protesters, riots occurred in North-Eastern Delhi. Beginning on 23 February, and caused chiefly by Hindu mobs attacking Muslims, there were multiple waves of bloodshed, property destruction, and rioting. Of the 53 people killed in three days, two-thirds were Muslims who were shot, beaten, or set on fire in the Indian capital’s deadliest Hindu-Muslim riot since 1950. …

The Work Concept:

My work is a combination of copper plates used historically for documentation and the idea of palimpsest.
Copper plates: In the Madras Museum, located in southern part of India, a series of copper plates from as early as 4th century AD have been preserved and displayed. These copper plates recorded various events of their time for posterity.
Palimpsest: a manuscript or piece of writing material on which later writing has been superimposed on effaced earlier writing; something reused or altered but still bearing visible traces of its earlier form.

In the light of anti-CAA protests and Delhi riots, I wanted to create a copper plate palimpsest for my time , so that the erasure of our constitutional values will not be forgotten.

There are two layers of text in the work. In the partially erased layer seen beneath, is the preamble to the Indian Constitution, declaring its claim to secure justice, liberty, and equality to all citizens, and promote fraternity to maintain unity and integrity of the nation. That layer is being eroded, and replaced with textual details of Delhi riots, narrating the incidents of murder and rampage. There are Slogans of violence like “We will enter the house and beat you up” or “Shoot the traitors”.

…The title for the work ‘Everything will be remembered’ comes from the title of the poem written by anti-CAA activist Aamir Aziz, lines of which were also recently recited by [Roger Waters] of Pink Floyd:

A section of “Everything will be remembered” by Amir Aziz.

Tum Raat Likho Hum Chand Likhenge,
Tum Jail Mein Dalo Hum Deewar Phand Likhenge,
You could write the night, but we will write the moon.
If you put us in jail, we would jump over the walls and still write.

Tum FIR Likho Hum Hain Taiyar Likhenge,
Tum Humein Qatl Kar Do Hum Banke Bhoot Likhenge,
Tumhare Qatl Ke Sare Saboot Likhenge,
If you would lodge an FIR against us, we are all set to write about the injustice we are suffering from.
If you murder us, we will come as the ghosts and still write. We will write mentioning the proofs unveiling the murders you have committed.
We will write mentioning the proofs unveiling the murders you have committed.

…Sab Yaad Rakha Jayega, Sab Kuch Yad Rakha Jayega,
Aur Tumhari Laathiyon Aur Goliyon Se,
Jo Qatl Huwe Hain Mere Yaar Sab,
Unki Yaad Mein Dilon Ko Barbaad Rakha Jayega,
We will remember everything. We will not forget it at all.
The dearest friends of mine who you murdered with lathis (or sticks) & bullets;
In the remembrance of them, we will keep our hearts broken-down. …

Additional reading: Indian antiquary. Bombay, Popular Prakashan [etc.]

Do You Recognize St Louis, King of France?


The Graphic Arts Collection recently acquired this large (302 x 208 x 21 mm) pearwood woodblock titled at the bottom “Saint Louis Roy de France.” The standing figure of St Louis, King Louis IX of France (1214-1270) holds a scepter in one hand and a crown of thorns in the other. On his right, a ship sails towards land on the left, which has been identified as Aigues-Mortes, his departure point for both the Seventh and Eighth Crusades. Sadly he never returned from the latter, victim of an epidemic, probably typhus, that devastated his army.


“St Louis, King Louis IX of France (1214-1270). Christian saint; son of Louis VIII and Blanche of Castile, succeeded his father as King of France in 1226 (although his mother acted as regent until 1234). In 1234 m. Marguerite of Provence. Leader of the Crusades (1248 & 1270), he was taken prisoner in Egypt and released in return for the surrender of the French army and a ransom. Died near Tunis. Canonized in 1297.”—British Museum database

The size of this woodblock leads us to believe it was intended for a broadside or large popular print. Do you recognize it? We would love to identify the print(s) made from this striking woodblock.

Watch-Paper Printing Plates

If you were a person of sufficient means in the 18th century, you might own and carry a pocket watch. So treasured were these watches that many were designed with a second, outer case to protect the delicate mechanism. Between the inner and outer casing, it became fashionable to insert small circular engravings, printed on square sheets and then cut out and inserted.

By 1780, the various engraved portraits of beautiful women slipped into a gentleman’s pocket watch became the subject of “A Dissertation upon Watch-Prints” by Bob Short in The Westminster magazine, London (Dec 1780): 691-691.

While these circular prints have become collectables, few can boast the copper printing plates that produced them. We are proud to say the Graphic Arts Collection is the new owner of three copper printing plates for watch-papers. Each can be attributed to John June (active 1740-1770), after Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792), and published by Robert Sayer in Fleet Street, ca.1766.

The female subjects are:

Miss Nelly O’Brien. Printed for Rob.t Sayer, at No 53 in Fleet Street. Plate: 164 164 x 1.15mm, barely rounded corners. On the back: punched for correction; engraved outline of a man in a large hat crossed through. Provenance: Iain Bain (1934–2018), Bewick scholar and printing historian.

Lady Selina Hastings. Sold by Rob.t Sayer in Fleet Street. Signed ‘J. June Sc.’ Plate: 63 x 70 x 1.27 mm, rounded corners. On the back: closely spaced lightly scratched lines: O’Brien by Reynolds, The Hunterian, University of Glasgow

Countess of Waldegrave. Printed for Rob.t Sayer, at No 53 in Fleet Street. Plate: 63 x 55 x 1.27mm, barely rounded corners. On the back: makers stamp B.W. under a crown (B. Whittow of Shoe Lane) with burin trials around and filling in the letters; punched for correction; lightly scratched lines, traces of ink.

Copper plates with the digital image inverted below.

Each of these ladies were the subjects of paintings by Sir Joshua Reynolds, later reproduced in mezzotint and widely distributed. While John June is confirmed to have engraved only one plate, we can attribute the others to him as well. Robert Sayer’s catalogue of 1766 contains a list of sixty-one ‘Designs in miniature for watchcases’ engraved by Louis Philippe Boitard at 3d. plain and 6d, so it is possible the same portrait was reproduced by several engravers over the years. See more in London 1753 by Sheila O’Connell, et al. (2003). Marquand Library DA682 .O28 2003

Reynolds, Joshua; Nelly O’Brien (d.1768); Hunterian Art Gallery, University of Glasgow;

Johann Wilhelm Klein’s 1807 Printing Device for the Blind

Johann Wilhelm Klein (1765-1848) was a pioneer of education for blind people. According to online sources, “on 13 May 1804 Klein began to teach a young blind man, James Brown, at home, with government support. Thus arose the first blind institute in Germany. Klein’s mission in life was now the care of the blind, the education and career guidance to make it in the world of work. in 1807 Klein presented his Stachelschrift, a printing device with which he could type the upper-case letters of the Latin script and create marks in dotted form in the paper. For the blind this writing was not easy to read and to write by hand was hard even for the sighted. Klein rejected Braille because of their dissimilarity from the script of the sighted.”

In 1819 he wrote a Textbook for Instruction of the Blind, see: Johann Wilhelm Klein (1765-1848) Lehrbuch zum Unterrichte der Blinden: um ihnen ihren Zustand zu erleichtern, sie nützlich zu beschäftigen und sie zur bürgerlichen Brauchbarkeit zu bilden (Wien : Gedruckt bey Anton Strauss, 1819). Ex 2008-1453N Gift; History of Education Collection in honor of Harold T. Shapiro’s Cabinet, 1988-2001 Here is the entry on another Klein box from the exhibition “Touching the Book.”

Our box, a gift from Bruce Willsie ’86, has a hinged slatted lid over a felt ‘writing’ pad over a small paper drawer with an adjacent compartment for storing the printing blocks. There are 25 smaller printing blocks (lacking ‘X’), a stop block, a spacing block, and 21 larger printing blocks (lacking ‘E’, ‘H’, ‘I’, ‘V’, ‘W’, & ‘X’, with and additional ‘M’). The box is 33 x 34 x 10 cm.

I have not checked this bibliography but it might be helpful:

Friedrich Benesch (1977), “Klein, Johann Wilhelm”, Neue Deutsche Biographie (NDB) (in German), 11, Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, pp. 742–743

August Hirsch (1882), “Klein, Johann Wilhelm”, Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB) (in German), 16, Leipzig: Duncker & Humblot, pp. 97–98

“Klein Johann Wilhelm”. In: Österreichisches Biographisches Lexikon 1815–1950 (ÖBL). Vol. 3, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna 1965, p. 382.

Klein, Johann Wilhelm in Constant of Wurzbach, Biographical Encyclopedia of the Empire, Austria, volume 12, page 51, Vienna, Imperial Court and State Printing 1864

Karl Heinz Scheible: Johann Wilhelm Klein . In: Wulf-Dietrich Kavasch, Günter Lemke and Albert Schlagbauer (eds): 2002, ISBN 3-923373-54-6, pp. 313–357


Solingen = The City of Blades

41 electroplated printing blocks ([Solingen, Germany?: n.p., ca.1920s]). Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2020-in process

Graphic Arts acquired a small collection of 41 electroplated printing blocks depicting dental and surgical instruments presumably for a trade catalogue, ca. 1920?.  Some of the blocks present sets of tools and some represent individual knives, scalpels, or scissors. These are not fresh samples, all the blocks have been inked and used. All have the remains of glue and paper on the underside of the block, indicative of patching or ‘bringing up’ the block to sit level inside the chase, reading for printing.

The dealer found a faint stamp on the side of the wood, which was read as Lauterjung & Hautzel … fabrik u. galvanoplastik, Solingen. Known as “the city of blades,” Solingen is located in the North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.

“For many centuries the name Solingen was [the] embodiment of high quality knives, cutlery and more. It is not surprising, that many companies try to make use of this name by selling their goods as “Made in Solingen”, although they have not been produced in this city. In order to fight this fraud, Solingen became the only city in the world whose name is a registered trademark. The so called “Solingenverordnung” regulates the use of the brand “Solingen” since 1938.”

The archive of Nordrhein-Westphal makes reference to a Lauterjung & Hautzel of Solingen in 1926, describing them as ‘Lieferant von Holzschnitten und Galvanos’ (suppliers of woodcuts and electroplating), suggesting that they were responsible for producing the blocks. In 1941, to celebrate the 50 anniversary of S. Lauterjung Söhne, Metallwarenfabrik [metal goods factory] in Solingen, a catalogue was prepared by Kurt Hartwig, which may have some relationship to our blocks.




One other possible connection to the blocks might be Carl Martin GMBH, also founded in Solingen in 1916. “Carl Martin have concentrated on manufacturing and distributing high-grade instruments for dentistry. Our more than 95 years of experience in raw materials, development processing and the requirements for daily use in hospitals, practices and laboratories have made us one of the world´s leading manufacturers of dental instruments.”


Louis Léopold Boilly (1761–1845), Le Baume d’Acier [The Balm of Steel], in Recueil de Grimaces, 1823. Lithograph. Graphic Arts Collection


Visiting Laurence Hutton and others

Drama critic, journalist, and collector Laurence Hutton received an honorary Master of Art degree from Princeton University in 1897, where he returned to lecture in English from 1901 until his death in 1904. He is buried in the Princeton cemetery.

Hutton left his collection of manuscripts, rare books, and life/death masks to the Princeton University Library, including two books that describe his obsession with death masks: Talks in a library with Laurence Hutton, recorded by Isabel Moore (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1905) and Portraits in plaster: from the collection of Laurence Hutton (New York : Harper & Brothers, 1894). Images of the mask can be found at

Here are a few of the other notable gravestones at the Princeton cemetery. An online brochure has more information:

Both john Aaron Burr, Jr. (1756-1836), a colonel in the Army of the Revolution and vice president of the United States from 1801 to 1805; and his father Aaron Burr, Sr. (1716-1757), the second President of Princeton University (1748-1757) are buried in the Princeton cemetery. Burr Sr.’s grave is the oldest grave in the cemetery.



A large plot in the Princeton cemetery holds the graves of Richard Stockton Jr. (1764-1828), a lawyer and son of a signer of the Declaration of Independence. He was a Federalist statesman who served his native New Jersey nationally, first in the Senate (1796-1799) and then in the House of Representatives (1813-1815). Nearby is Robert Field Stockton (1795-1866), son of Richard Stockton, Jr., who was a United States Senator (Democratic) from New Jersey (1851-1853). He was also president of the Delaware & Raritan Canal. Here is the grave of granddaughter Saidee.

Sylvia Beach (1887-1962), whose father was pastor of the First Presbyterian Church, founded Shakespeare & Company, a Paris bookshop which became a focus for struggling expatriate writers. In 1922 she published James Joyce’s Ulysses when others considered it obscene. At her death, a large collection of manuscripts, books, and other material came to Princeton University Library.


Grover Cleveland (1837-1908) was a New Jersey native and lawyer. He was the Mayor of Buffalo, Governor of New York, and elected President of the United States twice from 1885 to 1889 and from 1893 to 1897. He remains the only President of the United States to win the popular vote in three consecutive elections and serve two non-consecutive terms. His birthday (March 18) is celebrated annually at the Princeton Cemetery with a short eulogy and wreath-laying ceremony.

“Cleveland’s introduction to Princeton came during his second presidency when he spoke at the University’s 1896 sesquicentennial celebration. So enamored with Princeton were the Clevelands that in 1897 Grover and wife Frances Folsom purchased a mansion on Hodge Road, dubbing the estate “Westland.” As a resident of Princeton the ex-president became deeply involved in University affairs and was a staple on campus, lecturing once or twice a year and taking part in annual Commencement ceremonies. He was elected a trustee in 1901 and until his death seven years later was one of the Board’s most visible members, contributing vocally to the tumultuous debate on the graduate school and acting as chairman of the trustees committee on that topic (Cleveland sided with Dean Andrew Fleming West’s plan)”.–




Clark Fisher (1835-1903), founded the Eagle Steel Works (later named Fisher & Norris Anvil Works) in Trenton, New Jersey. His wife Harriet White Fisher Andrew (1861-1939) was known for being the first woman to circle the globe in a automobile. After her husband’s death, she took over the management of Eagle Steel Works and was the only woman member of the National Association of Manufacturers.


Edwin Landseer, age 8


The Graphic Arts Collection recently acquired the original copper plates for six of Edwin Landseer’s juvenile etchings made between the ages of 8 and 10, including his first etching and a previously unpublished and unrecorded plate. These came along with the 1974 re-strikes of five of the plates and a new impression of the unrecorded sixth plate [above]. The plates are clear and the images visible, even though the photography here might not appear to be.

Here is the full description of the plates, transcribed exactly from Roger Gaskell’s excellent research:

1. Heads of Sheep and Cattle, 1810. Lettering: Edwin Landseer, del & sculp. in his 8th year. London: Published Nov.r 1852 by P.& D. Colnaghi &Co. 13 & 14 Pall Mall, East.

180 x 116 x 1.19mm rounded corners, makers name ‘I. Shafe Shoe-Lane London’ stamped on the back. Scratched number 18 and circular scoring on the back. Graves 3; BM 1853,0409.27 (an unlettered proof inscribed ‘EL delt & sculp in his 8th year’); RCIN 815000.

2. Heads of a Boar, Sheep, and Donkey, 1810. Lettering: Edwin Landseer, del. & Sculp. his 1st Etching executed in his 8th year.

114 x 178 x 1.38mm, bevelled edges, rounded corners, makers name ‘G. Harris No 31 Shoe Lane London’ stamped on the back. Three etched figures, described below, scratched number 16 and oblique scoring on the back. Graves 4; BM 1853,0409.30 (unlettered proof inscribed ‘Edwin Landseer delt & sculp – his first etching in his 8th year’); RCIN 815001. [On the back of the plate in upright orientation:]

2b A Cow and two Lambs’ Heads. This must always have been intended as a trial because the image is close to the stamped name of the plate maker and would be difficult to print without taking an impression of the stamp. There are a few scratches as can be seen in 1974 re-strike. Unknown to Graves.

3. A Horse, Goat and Bull, 1811 Lettering: Edwin Landseer, del & sculp. London: Published Nov.r

198 x 121 x 1.5mm, bevelled edges, rounded corners, makers name ‘G. Harris No 31 Shoe Lane London’ stamped on the back. Scratched number 17 on the back. Graves 5; BM 1853,0409.25 (unlettered proof inscribed ‘E. Landseer delt & sculp’); RCIN 815002.

4. Donkeys and a Foal, 1811 Lettering: Edwin Landseer, del. in his 9th year. T. Landseer, sculp. London: Published Nov.r 1852 by P.& D. Colnaghi &Co. 13 & 14 Pall Mall, East.

129 x 115 x 1.43mm, rounded corners, makers name ‘G. Harris No 31 Shoe Lane London’ stamped on the back. Scratched number 11[?] and oblique scoring on the back. Graves 6; BM 1853,049.26 (unlettered proof inscribed at left beside top donkey ‘EL, Delt & Sculp’ and blow image ‘EL’ at left and ‘TL’ at right); RCIN 815002. The legend on the plate ascribes the etching to Thomas Landseer (1795–1880), Edwin’s the elder brother but Graves ascribes it to Edwin Landseer. In fact they both had a hand, the pencilled inscription on the BM impression indicating that the etching of the donkey at the top was done by Edwin and the donkey and foal below by Thomas Landseer.

5. A Cow and Calf, 1812 Lettering: Edwin Landseer, del & sculp. in his 10th year. London: Published Nov.r 1852 by P.& D. Colnaghi &Co. 13 & 14 Pall Mall, East.

127 x 179 x 1.5mm, bevelled edges, rounded corners, makers name ‘G. Harris No 31 Shoe Lane London’ stamped on the back. Scratched number 6 on the back. Graves 9; not in BM. RCIN 815003 (an early state); RCIN 815004 (published by Colnaghi 1852).

6. Two Rams’ Heads, no imprint, c. 1810-12 No lettering.

204 x 167 x 1.31mm, edges bevelled on the back, rounded corners. ‘Landseer’ and ‘15’ scratched on the back. Maker’s name ‘G. Harris No 31 Shoe Lane London’. Punched on the back half way down on the right hand side, perhaps for an erasure as there is no etching on the face at this point. Although unsigned, the style of the plate, its survival with Landseer’s other juvenile etchings and the scratched name on the back leave little doubt that this is his work and thus a new addition to his oeuvre. Unknown to Graves; no impressions located.


The plates were probably not have been published in Landseer’s youth. By 1852 they were in the possession of Peter and Dominic Colnaghi who published restrikes of five of them with new lettering identifying the artist and adding their imprint. These prints are very rare so the edition was probably small. Predictably there are impressions in the Royal Collection. The British Museum holds rather messy unlettered proofs of four of the plates, probably the artist’s proofs with pencil lettering which is evidently the source of the lettering added by Colnaghi, who sold the proofs to the Museum in 1853. The sixth plate is not lettered, though it has Landseer’s name scratched on the back, and there no proof in the BM.

In the 1970s (or before) the plates came into the hands of the publisher, printing historian and Bewick scholar Iain Bain (1934-2018). Bain printed an edition of 80 copies (75 for sale) of the five etchings issued by Colnaghi and these were offered to subscribers in a portfolio with a brief introduction at £80 plus VAT. Pre-publication subscribers received a bonus of ‘an additional print taken from the back of one of the plates which carries three experimental studies never before published’. A copy of the publication, including the bonus print and the prospectus, is offered here with the plates. The sixth plate, which as noted above is unknown from contemporary or later impressions, is accompanied by a recent impression.



Edwin Henry Landseer (1802–1873). Six etched copper plates, 1810–1812 (legends and imprint lines were added to five plates in 1852) [with]  Iain Bain, The childhood etchings of Sir Edwin Landseer, R.A. Five prints taken from his still surviving copper plates: etched between his 8th and 10th years c. 1810–1812. Produced for The Heritage Collection by Iain Bain at the John Boydell Press MCMLXXIV. (Bristol: The Heritage collection, 1974.) 6 prints in the original buckram portfolio. Together with the prospectus, also dated 1974, five 1974 re-strikes of the plates and a new impression of the unrecorded sixth plate. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2020- in process.

*CDV portrait from the Laurence Hutton Photograph album Box 3.

Perforated embroidery patterns

The Graphic Arts Collection recently acquired a group of 83 perforated designs or pounce patterns, assumed to be stencils made to transfer a design to fabric for embroidery or other decoration. In addition, there is a circular from August Bernard, described as the successor to Leon Cendrier, “designer, manufacturer, & importer of perforated French stamping patterns for braiding and embroidery,” located at 401 Canal Street, New York City. There is nothing on the sheets to verify they are from Bernard’s shop, but the flier confirms he had, at that time, the largest collection of such patterns in the United States, so it is likely these came Bernard.

One other possible source for these vegetable parchment patterns might be Mrs. T.G. Farnham. On the verso of one of the decorated initial patterns is the rubber stamp of “Mrs. T.G. Farnham, Art Needlework, Stamping, Embroidery, Etc., 16 West 14th St., N.Y. City.”

In the 1880s, Farnham advertised perforated patterns etc. for sale in such magazines as Harper’s Bazar and The Youth’s Companion and was the author of Home Beautiful, a Descriptive Catalogue of Art Needle Work (New York, 1884).

The article on the left was found in New York’s Great Industries: Exchange and Commercial Review, Embracing Also Historical and Descriptive Sketch of the City, Its Leading Merchants and Manufacturers .. (Historical Publishing Company, 1884). Neither Bernard or Cendrier are listed.

Of course, anyone can make their own patterns but these are extremely detailed and regular in their piercing, suggesting they were made by an experienced commercial vendor.

Both Bernard and Farnham also sold the colored powders and fine felt pounces used to apply the powders to the patterns. The same waxy blue powder is found on the rectos of most of the patterns in the portfolio, indicating they were all used by the same person. One of the patterns bears a partial watermark “CO. DALTON MA”, suggesting that the vegetable parchment was made by Crane and Company.

Most paper stencils were used and soon discarded as they became worn out. The Graphic Arts Collection has a number of metal stencils and horsehair Japanese stencils but very few on paper or vegetable parchment as these have been described. This is a rare surviving collection.

83 needlework stamping patterns and a circular issued by August Bernard of New York City ([New York: August Bernard?, ca. 1880s]). Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2020- in process.


Mr. Hall’s Store

South William Street today

James Hall (1810-1854) was an importer (born in Scotland, active in the United States) who met John James Audubon (1785-1851) while the artist was living in London during the last years of printing Birds of America. According to New York City tax records, Lot 48, 51 Stone Street (originally known by its Dutch name, Hoogh Straet) was sold to Hall in May 1835, just months before the Great Fire of December 16-17, 1835.

When everything on the block burned to the ground, Hall rebuilt a five story “through-the-block store and loft” giving the business two addresses, 49-51 Stone and 19 South William Streets. Hall’s considerable square footage was primarily used as storage and he worked from an office around the corner on Beaver Street, later shared by Audubon’s son John Woodhouse Audubon (1812-1862), after Hall’s sister Caroline (1811-1899) became John’s second wife in 1841.

Hall’s building was, for a time, the home to five tons of copper printing plates for Birds of America, stored there when the material came to New York City.

John and Caroline built a home on the Audubon estate near what is today 155th Street and James Hall also purchased a small section of land from Lucy Audubon where his family settled (more about that property).

After an equally devastating fire in the summer of 1845, again burning 100s of buildings in lower Manhattan, a storage vault was built on the Audubon property where the plates were moved.

J.J. Audubon died in 1851, James Hall died in 1854, Victor Audubon died in 1860, and John Woodhouse Audubon died in 1862. Lucy Audubon leased and then sold each of the homes on the estate until she finally vacated the property to live with relatives. This is when the copper plates also needed a new home, but that’s another story.

When Hall rebuilt his store, each of the buildings on Stone/South William looked exactly alike, with Greek revival columns along the street level. It wasn’t until the 20th century that things changed. Amos F. Eno purchased several buildings on the block, selling Hall’s to his nephew Amos R.E. Pinchot and his socialite wife Gertrude, active with Margaret Sanger. The most interesting facade is the one next door to Hall:

“Then on December 20, 1926 the property … was purchased by Block Hall, Inc, [a] newly-formed club composed of businessmen in the banking and marine insurance industries. The president, Gresham Innis, announced that the land “will be improved by the club with a seven-story clubhouse.” In deference to the historic site the club was named in honor of Adriaen Block and would be a private social, athletic and luncheon club. …At the time, downtown businessmen were increasingly inconvenienced as the residential neighborhoods moved further uptown, making traveling home for lunch difficult.  A private luncheon club resolved the problem and eliminated the only other option, which was scrambling for tables at the few acceptable restaurants in the area.” See more here.

Note, the scrambling was primarily for a seat at Delmonico’s restaurant, 2 South William Street, later Beaver and South William [below].No information available

Read the full story of the Audubon printing plates in Print Quarterly: