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WILLIAM BIRCH ENGRAVING
WILLIAM BIRCH ENGRAVING 
Plate No. 8 in the "Views of Philadelphia" Series (1799)

William Birch engraved a series of 29 plates entitled, "Views of Philadelphia." Dating back to 1799, these plates are of great historical significance in that they provide a visual record of Philadelphia's buildings, streets and inhabitants during a period when the city, not only the nation's capital, was the most important and cosmopolitan city in the Western Hemisphere.

Some of the Philadelphia buildings featured in Birch's series of engravings are the State House, Chestnut Street Theatre, Pennsylvania Hospital, Bank of the United States (later known as Girard's Bank) as well as views of Arch, Market, Chestnut and Second Streets.

While many individuals were involved in the production of this series of engravings, including Birch's son Thomas, the actual prints were the work of Birch himself. He conceived and planned the project, drew many of the scenes and did most of the engraving and printing.The full set of engravings were published in a book titled, The City of Philadelphia, in the State of Pennsylvania, North America; as It Appeared in the Year 1800.

This museum quality frame measures 16.5" x 18.5" and displays Birch's engraving titled, "South East Corner of Third and Market Streets," plate number 8 in the series. The building at the corner was called "Cooke's Folly," built around 1792 by Joseph Cooke, goldsmith and jeweler. In the engraving, street vendors are seen selling meat, produce and other goods. The landmark Indian King tavern appears on the far left. $595.00*


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