"The Artillery Corps of Philadelphia Greys, (Company D). Comd. By Capt. Geo. Cadwalader, First Regiment of Artillery, 1st Brigade, 1st division, P.M."
Philadelphia: P.S. Duval, 1845.
A very rare and separately issued print that is one of the more unusual and dynamic antique views of Philadelphia.
The scene shows the Philadelphia Greys cavalry practicing field artillery manoeuvers near Powelton in West Philadelphia. The company of volunteers was commanded by Captain Cadwalader, an outstanding horseman who was one of the most impressive of Philadelphia's military figures. Cadwalader served for many years, providing horses and artillery equipment at his own cost. He became an important and successful commander in the Mexican War and in 1861 assumed the first of many command posts in the Civil War. George Cadwalader was the longest serving Brigadier General (1842-1865) of the City Brigade of the First City Troop. He was also one of the founding members and an early president of The Philadelphia Club.
PS Duval did a whole series on the Philadelphia “militia” units of that time, to include the First Troop. This image is of a unit in the First Regiment (today the 103rd Engineer Bn.), later known as the "Dandy First" but it is not of the First Troop. The First Troop collection includes original drawings and subsequent prints for a number of the PS Duval images, though not this one. They were a gift of Captain Fairman Rogers.
The imprint notes that the image was “sketched on the spot" by Alfred Hoffy and, indeed, the image has a immediacy and a sense of movement that is rarely seen in antique views. The lithograph was printed by P.S. Duval, the best known and most talented lithographer and colorist of the mid 19th century. Duval hired the best artists of his time and printed their work with tremendous skill and attention to detail. His early prints such as this one are especially valued by collectors for the beauty of their hand coloring. His later works point up his skill as an innovator. He was the first printer to adapt steam power to the running of his presses and one of the early enthusiasts for the possibilities of printing in color.
Lithograph with original hand color.
12 3/4 x 16 ½, sheet.
Framed to museum specifications to 24 x 26 ½ inches. Ref: Wainwright: 367.
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