A General View of the City of London, next the River Thames. Vue Generale de la Ville de Londres qui comprend la partie la plus voisine de la Tamise.
1753 (undated) 11 x 17 in (27.94 x 43.18 cm)
An attractive 1753 view of London set midstream on the Thames, looking west. Set amidst busy river commerce, this view shows London Bridge (foreground), Blackfriars Bridge (middle ground) and, around the bend, Westminster Bridge and Abbey. St. Paul's Church appears just to the right of Blackfriars Bridge. This view was printed by Carrington Bowles and Carver, 69 St. Paul's Church Yard, London, and listed in their 1753 catalogue under Perspective views in and about London. Another version was printed for C. Bowles' brother, John Bowles, located at Black Horse in Cornhill.1
The Bowles family (fl. c. 1714 - 1832) were publishers and map sellers active in London from c. 1714 to c. 1832. The firm, under Thomas Bowles ( fl. 1714 - 1763), John Bowles (1701-1779), Carrington Bowles (1724 - 1793), and as Bowles and Carver (fl. 1794 - 1832), produced a massive corpus of work that included numerous atlases, pocket maps , and wall maps. The Bowles publishing tradition was kept alive over four generations starting with Thomas Bowles who was a print engraver in the late 17th century. The first maps issued by the firm were actually produced by his son, Thomas Bowles the second, who based in self in St. Paul's Churchyard, London. Thomas's brother, John Bowles (called "Old John Bowles" or "Black Horse Bowles" by those who knew his shop), was also an active publisher and was established at no. 13 Cornhill. It is said that he was one of the first publishers of William Hogarth's works. It was here that John's son, Carrington Bowles, was introduced to the trade. Carrington took over the Cornhill bookshop and eventually merged it with his uncles shop in St. Paul's Churchyard. On Carrington's death in 1793, the business was passed to his son Henry Carrington Bowles, who partnered with Samuel Carver, renaming the firm, Bowles and Carver. Under this imprint the firm continued to publish maps and atlases until the early 1830s.
Average. This view, while still attractive, shows clear signs of age, including several verso repairs, overall oxidization, and browning. Still, it remains highly attractive piece.
New York Public Library, Map Division, Map Div., Digital ID 1158215.