Auction 148, Lot 465

"Vue du Pont de Westminster du Cote du Nord de Londres",

Subject: London, England

Period: 1780 (circa)

Publication: Collection des Prospects

Color: Hand Color

Size:
15.6 x 11.1 inches
39.6 x 28.2 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.

This scenic view of Westminster bridge depicts numerous small vessels traversing the Thames River. In the background are Westminster Abbey and the old Parliament buildings. Built between 1739-50, the Westminster bridge was financed by private capital, lotteries and grants, and was built to alleviate traffic issues to the expanding West End. Engraved for a Vue d'Optique, it was designed to be viewed in a special apparatus that gave the scene a strong 3-D impression. The title at top is engraved in reverse. 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. Engraved by Balthazar Frederic Leizelt.

References:

Condition: A

Bold original color with damp stains in bottom blank margin and a small hole in left blank margin, far from image.

Estimate: $110 - $150

Sold for: $140

Closed on 2/19/2014

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