The Falls of Niagara
Lieut. Col. James Pattison Cockburn, 1857
This View From The Upper Bank, English Side (Plate 4) This View of the Horse Shoe Fall, From Goat Island (Plate 6)
detail detail
Lieut. Col. James Pattison Cockburn (after)
C. Hunt (engraver)
This View From The Upper Bank, English Side (Plate 4)
This View of the Horse Shoe Fall, From Goat Island (Plate 6)

from The Falls of Niagara
Ackermann & Co., 96 Strand, London: 1857 [Mid 20th C. restrikes]
Aquatint engravings 26 x 38 inches, overall
20 x 28 inches, platemark
$950, the pair

Pair of prints from a series of six entitled The Falls of Niagara, each engraved "[b]y Special Permission dedicated to Her Most Excellent Majesty Queen Victoria." The view from the Upper Bank shows sheep grazing in a pasture below, while in the distance mist rises from the falls. The pasture is surrounded by deciduous trees. In the other print, an upper class family, their picnic spread on the grass above the steep slope, observes Horse Shoe Falls and the plume of spray it sends up. A foot bridge is visible.

Lieutenant Colonel Cockburn of the Royal Artillery was posted to Canada from 1826 to 1836, where he made drawings of North American scenes. Six of his views of Niagara Falls were made into a set of large folio aquatints, first issued in 1833 and dedicated to King William IV. The prints were sold in England and North America, and as souvenirs at Niagara Falls itself. Due to their popularity, the prints were reissued in 1857, this time dedicated to Queen Victoria. These prints are mid-20th-Century restrikes using traditional printing techniques, made from the original 1857 plates. The images remain popular today as contemporary art posters.

Ackermann & Co. was a prominent British publisher and printseller.   The firm was founded by Rudolph Ackermann (1764-1834), publishing as R. Ackermann from 1795 to 1829.  Ackermann was born in Germany and came to England in the 1780s.  He pioneered lithography in Britain (though frequently working with color-printed etchings and aquatints), and became a leading publisher of fine colorplate books, decorative prints and magazines, as well as sheet music of the Regency period.  In 1797, Ackermann relocated the business premises to 101 Strand, which were known by 1798 as “The Repository of Arts,” also the title of a periodical with a large number of prints that he published from 1809 to 1828.  As suggested by the full title of the publication, Ackermann's Repository of the Arts, Literature, Commerce, Manufactures, Fashions and Politics, the subject matter of the Repository was wide ranging.  Among the most influential and popular images in the series were studies of Regency decorative arts, interior design and fashion, as well as various city and country views.  Ackermann was a major patron of British artists and designers, notably the famous caricaturist Thomas Rowlandson (1756-1827), whose works were featured in the famous set of London interiors and exteriors entitled Microcosm of London (R. Ackermann, London, 1808-10).  Ackermann also manufactured and sold art supplies. In 1829, Rudolph transferred the business to three of his sons, who traded as Ackermann & Co. from 1829 to 1859.  The business continued until the end of the 20th Century, last operating as Arthur Ackermann and Son (with offices in the 20th Century in London, Paris, Chicago and New York).

Condition: Overall very good with only minor toning, scattered discoloration near edges of margins, soft creases. Few short hard creases, not obtrusive.

References:

Maxted, Ian. "The London book trades 1775-1800: a preliminary checklist of members." Exeter Working Papers in British Book Trade History.  U.K.: Devon Library and Information Services. 24 January 2005.  http://www.devon.gov.uk/etched?_IXP_=1&_IXR=111144 (4 May 2007).

"Rudolph Ackermann."  National Portrait Gallery.  May 2007.  http://www.npg.org.uk/live/search/person.asp?LinkID=mp06540 (4 May 2007).


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