London, South Kensington
24 September 2008
Panorama of London and the River Thames. [London:] The Illustrated London News, . Very long hand-coloured wood-engraved panoramic bird's-eye-view by Smyth, mounted on linen, with key plan (some light staining and creasing), approximately 300 x 2,370mm., on wooden roller with red cloth flap lettered in gilt, silk ties. Provenance: D. G. S. ?Wooden (signature on verso).
Issued as a Supplement to The Illustrated London News on Saturday 11 February 1845, this fascinating panorama records London in the process of 19th-century transformation. In evidence are Charles Barry's new buildings for the Houses of Parliament - with the notable exception of Big Ben (completed 1854) which is absent from this view, its place taken by an incongruous church tower. The City to the east of St Paul's shows a similar artistic licence: instead of the jumble of Medieval lanes which would have existed the artist has imagined a grid of classical streets, almost as if Wren's plans for rebuilding had come to fruition. Sold with 4 other panoramas (defective) and a set of Edward Wedlake Brayley's London and Middlesex (London, 1810-16, 5 vols.). (10)
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