J.C. Wild. “Merchants’ Exchange, Philadelphia.” From Views of Philadelphia and its Vicinity. Philadelphia: J.T. Bowen, 1838. Quarto. Lithograph by J.T. Bowen. Original hand color. Very good condition.
A lovely view of the Merchants’ Exchange on Dock Street in Philadelphia. Wild was a Swiss artist who studied in Paris, and then came to Philadelphia around 1832. Soon after he moved to Cincinnati and then back to Philadelphia in 1837. At that time he formed a partnership with J.B. Chevalier to publish a series of small lithographs illustrating the city of Philadelphia. The intent was to sell the prints inexpensively, at a rate of 25 cents for two images, and this was done in part in conjunction with the Saturday Courier, which used the prints in its promotions. The prints were all issued in 1838, and when completed they were sold in a bound volume. The project was not, however, a success for Wild, and in that year he left Philadelphia to move to the mid-west. Though he stayed only a short time in the city, Wild’s twenty-seven views of Philadelphia are amongst the most notable of the nineteenth century.