Panorama of the River Thames in 1845. Given with the London Illustrated News.
1845 (dated) 15 x 97 in (38.1 x 246.38 cm)
This is a dramatic presentation copy of the scarce 1845 London Illustrated News panorama of London, England. Measuring some 96 inches long, this enormous production presents a birds-eye view of London as seen from far above the southern shore of the Thames, covering from Vauxhall to Greenwich. There is much of interest throughout, from lively shipping at the East and West India Docks; to Nelson's Column, only erected three years before; to the short-lived Hungerford Suspension Bridge (1845-1862, when it was removed and the chain used on the Clifton Suspension Bridge over the Avon); and Buckingham Palace, completed 1837, still with the Marble Arch as the gateway (re-erected in Hyde Park 1851).
When this view was drawn London was the world's greatest metropolis and the center of a global empire. The vibrant river traffic, grand buildings, crowded docks, and billowing smokestacks, and sheer size of this panorama were doubtless intended to impress upon the Londoner, and indeed the world, the magnificence of their capital.
It is of note that the presently offered example is a scarce presentation copy - in fact the only such we are aware of. The more common rendering for this view was completed by Smyth and published in two panels as a supplement to the January 11, 1845 edition of the London Illustrated News. It is a woodblock engraving on six blocks where were joined prior to printing. The present example, on two sheets joined at center, is quite special as it is a presentation issue prepared by William Little, publisher of the London Illustrated News. Unlike those examples published with the London Illustrated News, this example is issued on heavy stock, backed on linen, exhibits period color, and comes with a finely crafted wooden roller. It also bears Little's personal stamp in the lower right.
The Illustrated London News is one of the world's first weekly news magazines It was first published by Herbert Ingram and Mark Lemon (of Punch fame) in 1842. The lavishly illustrated magazine slowly gained popularity and continued to be published on a weekly basis until 1971. Today the Illustrated London News is the Illustrated London News Group and publishes bi-annually.
Very good. Old color. Professionally re-backed with archival linen. Comes with original wooden roller. Some wear to left margins.
British Museum, 1880,1113.5503.1 / 1880,1113.5503.2.