J.W. Hill


C. Mottram engraver published by Smith Brothers & Co. New York & by Sowle & Wards, 11 Summer St., Boston, MA

Boston Harbor

Hand colored engraving
1/2" x 41 1/2"

(with frame below)


unframed red-tinted restrike available: $750.00


   A very large and finely detailed panoramic view of Boston. The Smith brothers, Francis, George W., David C., and Benjamin F., grew up in Maine working on their father's farm. By 1846, Francis and George became involved as agents and salesmen for Edwin Whitefield, who had recently started his series of American views. Shortly thereafter, Benjamin also joined Whitefield, possibly helping him with the drawing on some of his prints. In 1849 the Smiths established their own print publishing firm and proceeded to produce some of the most impressive American city views of the nineteenth century, including this lovely image of Boston. This print was drawn by J.W. Hill, with C. Mottram engraving it onto steel. It is interesting to note that though the Smith brothers' views were generally lithographs, this was done as an engraving, and was printed in London. The perspective is convincingly rendered and the detail is excellent. As John Reps says, "the Smith brothers' views achieved a standard that equaled or surpassed the best work of its kind." [Reps, Views and Viewmakers of Urban America p.207]