Auction 129, Lot 482

"[Lot of 2] Vue de la Maison Royale de Somerset avec l'Eglise de Ste. Marie dans le Strand [and] Palatii quo Conveniunt Negotiatores... La Bourse Royale a Londres",

Subject: London, England

Period: 1800 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

15.6 x 9.5 inches
39.6 x 24.1 cm

Optical prints (or vue d’optique) were made to be viewed in a special apparatus that provided the viewer with an illusion of depth (early 3-D). The large mirror employed in the viewing machine showed the image reversed so many of these views have the titles and information engraved forward and backwards to facilitate viewing in the machine or by hand. These prints were only produced for a short period of time (1740 to 1790) and then were replaced with the invention of the smaller steroviewer. These views are some of the most distinctive and interesting images of the eighteenth century, and their distinctive engraving style, striking perspective and bright original color makes them as visually delightful as they are historically fascinating.

Attractive pair of unusual views depicting London in the eighteenth century. Both scenes are filled with a variety of carriages and carts in the streets and display the great architecture. The first view shows Somerset House with St. Mary's Church in the Strand London. The second view shows the Royal Exchange, which was designed by Edward Jerman and built in 1669, and was destroyed by fire in 1838. The prints bear the imprints of three different Parisian publishers; La Caussee, Daumont, and Basset.


Condition: A

Overall very good with original color. Each has some soil and minor flaws and masking tape in the blank margins, well away from the images.

Estimate: $200 - $300

Sold for: $120

Closed on 9/23/2009