Sutton Nicholas. “The West-Side of London-Bridge.”/”The East-Side of London-Bridge.” From Nouveau Théâtre de la Grande Bretagne. London: Joseph Smith, 1724. Engraving. 20 1/4 x 34 1/2. Some repaired tears in margins. Overall, fine condition and impression.
A most impressive and rare print of the London Bridge. This print came from a monumental four volume set of views of country seats, palaces, and city views originally conceived by Johannes Kip and Leonard Knyff. In 1707, Kip and Knuyff issued an 80 plate volume entitled Britannia Illustrata. This was expanded beginning the next year and the title given in French as above. A third volume was added in 1716, and then publisher Joseph Smith issued the fourth volume, together with the first three, in 1724. This print, from volume four, shows both sides of the London Bridge, with “An Historical Description of the great and admirable Bridge” given below the two images. London Bridge was the first stone bridge built across the Thames at London, between 1176 and 1209. The road across was lined on both sides by buildings housing shops, offices and homes, and it was this bridge that lives on in legend and song. The bridge lasted for over 600 years, until it was replaced by the new London Bridge in 1831. This is a most rare and wonderful image of this legendary structure.