BY THE NOTED MAP ENGRAVER AND PUBLISHER, WILLIAM CHAPIN

 

$650

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AUTHOR:

CHAPIN, WILLIAM

TITLE:

On the Brandywine. “Aug 25, 1883. For Clara Gill Allen.”

CONDITION:

Watercolor on heavy paper, 7” x 9-1/2”. Generally very fresh and crisp.

DATE:

1883

DESCRIPTION:

This accomplished landscape depicts a scene on Brandywine Creek, with an arched stone bridge in the background, and a small figure with an oar on the near shore. The latter may be Clara Gill Allen, for whom the watercolor was specifically painted.

William Chapin (1801-1888) was an artist and map engraver who worked primarily in Philadelphia and New York, where he established an extensive map business. In 1817 Chapin was apprenticed to the nation’s leading cartographic publishers, Tanner, Vallance, Kearney & Co., of Philadelphia. After striking out on his own, he was involved in the production and publication of a number of important maps. In 1832, Chapin engraved Amos Lay’s
Map of the United States; and two years later, James Webster’s Map of the United States, which is reputed to be “the first map engraved on steel in this country” (Fielding).

Chapin later left the field of cartography, and in 1849 was appointed Director of the Philadelphia Institute for the Blind. He became one of the nation’s leading and most enlightened advocates for the sight impaired.

Clara Gill Allen (1861-1928) came from a prominent Philadelphia family. Her maternal grandfather, Thomas R. Gill was a Director of the Merchants Trust Co., and one of the city’s leading merchants. She married William Minott Clark, of Elizabeth, New Jersey, a Senior Partner at Merrill Lynch. He was a descendant of Abram Clark, a Signer of the Declaration of Independence, and the grandson of Senator Amos Clark of New Jersey.

REFERENCES:

Fielding & Carr, Dictionary of American Painters, sculptors and Engravers, p. 61; Stauffer, American Engravers, pp. 43-44; p. 145; Tooley’s Dictionary of Mapmakers, A-D, p. 255.

Inventory No. 8569

Cohen & Taliaferro

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