View of London from Whitehall Stairs


Wenzel Hollar (1607-77), View of London from Whitehall Stairs, etching, c. 1647. Reference: Pennington 912, only state. In very good condition, with small margins, soft folds upper right corner, printed on an old laid paper with a Fleur de Lis and Crown watermark. 3 3/4 x 7 inches, archival matting.

A fine impression with superb detailing (e.g., the letters ‘Thames flu’ can be clearly read in the river, but some magnification is useful for reading this and other details).

Provenance: ex Collection, Francis Leventritt (Leventritt’s advisor regarding Old Master prints was the eminent art critic Leo Steinberg)

Pennington’s description of this image is worth some repeating: “A view of the muddy shore of the Thames, lettered ‘Thames flu’, at low water across to Lambeth Place…Across the mud a plank walk – Whitehall Stairs – slopes down to low water level to end in a post to which a dozen ferry boats are made fast…Whitehall Stairs was a public landing place as opposed to the Privy Stairs a little farther up river. They led to a narrow passage,with the quarters for the royal pages and the royal cooks on the left, which led into an open space behind the Banqueting House. Whtehall Court now stands on the site.”