The print was one of 12 panoramic views of Paris published by Sir Richard Phillips in 1803, and included in an 1804 book with text by Thomas Holcroft (1745-1809) titled Travels from Hamburg, through Westphalia, Holland, and the Netherlands, to Paris. About this plate showing the view from Montmartre, Holcroft writes, that it “contribute[s] to aid the imagination of the reader, relative to the situation of the city of Paris, the heights that surround it, and the principal objects by which it is adorned.” The 12 plates were later reprinted by other London publishers under the title Graphic Illustrations of the Most Prominent Features of the French Capital; comprised in Twelve Stroke Engravings, from accurate Designs taken in Paris during the Imperial Reign of Buonaparte: in 1816 by Harper and Co., and in an undated edition by Howlett and Brimmer no earlier than 1821, when that firm opened.
The print does not attribute an artist as the source of the view. However, Holcroft says in his preface, “The Plates, except that of the old and new Louvre, are engraved after drawings made at Paris, under my direction, by a French artist. Their picturesque effect has not been neglected, but their principal merit is that every part of them has been made subject to truth: they are accurate portraits, as well of the places as of the costume and appearance of the people.”
Key in Bottom Margin:
1, The Temple; 2, The Opera House, Porte St. Martin; 3, [Church of] St. Merri, Rue St. Martin; 4. Dome of the Jesuits, [Saint-Paul-Saint-Louis], Rue St. Antoine; 5. Fire Engine; 6, La Salpêtrière [Pitié-Salpêtrière University Hospital]; 7. St-Gervais [-et-St-Protais Church]; 8, St. Jacques [Tower]; 9. Notre Dame; 10, [The Church of] St. Eustache; 11. Le Palais; 12, St. Étienne; 13, Pantheon; 14, La Sorbonne; 15 Le Val-de-Grâce; 16, St. Magloire; 17, The Observatory; 218. Abbey of St. Germain [-des-Prés]; 19, St. Sulpice; 20, La Halle Aux Bleds; 21. St. Germain-l’Auxerrois i; 22, The Louvre; 22. The Tuileries; 24, [Église] Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption; 25, Admiralty; 26, Le Corps Législatif; 27, Place de la Concord; 28, The Invalides [Hôtel des Invalides]; 29, Military School; 30, Mendon; 31, Place Vendome; 32. French Theatre; 33 Opera House; 34, Palais Royale; 35 Barriers of Paris
Sir Richard Phillips was a British bookseller and publisher who led an unusual life. Born and educated in London, he moved to Leicester and founded an academy in 1788, but by 1790 was a stationer, bookseller and patent medicine vendor. He began printing and established a circulating library and founded the Leicester Herald in 1792. Phillips held radical political views throughout his life; he was imprisoned for 18 months in 1793 for selling Thomas Paine’s political tract Rights of Man. After his Leicester office burned down in 1795 he moved to London on the proceeds of an insurance policy. There he established Monthly Magazine, Antiquary’s Magazine and Monthly Musical Journal, as well as publishing a large number of inexpensive elementary textbooks and manuals, many of which he compiled himself. He also published several books on law, philosophy and cultural topics under his own name and various pseudonyms. He built up enough of a fortune and social standing to become Sheriff of London in 1807 and was knighted the following year. He became bankrupt during the Bank Panic in 1811, but with help was able to continue business in a more restricted manner. He retired in 1823.
Full publication information: Richard Phillips, 71 St. Paul’s Church Yard, London: October 11, 1803.
Condition: Generally very good with the usual light toning, wear, soiling, soft creases. Margins trimmed but ample, leaving short side margins and full bottom margin with titles. Few marginal tears and chips, some extending barely into image on right side, professionally restored as backed on archival paper.
Bernard Quaritch’s Catalogue, No. 274. London: April 2009. p. 160. 2028. Online at Google Books: https://books.google.com/books?id=iIkDAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA160 (15 September 2017).
Holcroft, Thomas. Travels from Hamburg through Westphalia, Holland and the Netherlands, to Paris. London: Richard Phillips, 1804. p. xviii, xix and xxv. Online at Google Books: https://play.google.com/books/reader?id=52pKAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&output=reader&hl=en&pg=GBS.PR17 (15 September 2017).
Maxted, Ian. “The London book trades 1775-1800: a checklist of members.” Exeter Working Papers in Book History. http://bookhistory.blogspot.com/2007/01/london-1775-1800-p-q.html (15 September 2017).