John Paul The Thames at Old London Bridge, 30 x 50 in. (76.2 x 127 cm.)

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Lot 1
John Paul The Thames at Old London Bridge, 30 x 50 in. (76.2 x 127 cm.)

Sold for £ 5,975 (US$ 7,977) inc. premium
John Paul
The Thames at Old London Bridge,
oil on canvas,
30 x 50 in. (76.2 x 127 cm.)

Footnotes

  • PROVENANCE:
    Private Collection, Hampshire and Puttenham Priory, Surrey, since circa 1960

    The present composition shows the appearance of London Bridge from the east in the mid-18thcentury, depicting the Great Stone Gateway on the southern end (rebuilt 1727-8), the picturesquely dilapidated Nonesuch House in the middle and at the northern end the block of ten houses that George Dance designed in 1745. John Paul would therefore have based his subject on contemporary depictions (known drawings from the period include those of Samuel Scott, Samuel and Nathaniel Buck, Canaletto and John Boydell). Between 1762-1831 the superstructures were demolished, the ninth pier from the south was removed, one large arch being made in place of two and the width of the whole increased from 20 feet to 46 feet.
    On its completion in 1209, Old London Bridge was the longest habitable bridge ever built. Linking the respectable City to the north with the brothels and bear gardens of Southwark, it comprised nearly 140 houses and shops, rising up through four stories, and its own chapel. By the 18th century its days were numbered: although there had always been money for repairs, even without the houses removed in the 1760s, the bridge was too narrow for the 90,000 people a day who used it and in 1832 it was replaced by a much wider structure (this, in turn, was dismanteld 140 years later and sold to an American who imported it into the United States as a 'genuine large antique', where it is now a tourist attraction in Arizona).
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