THE BURNING OF THE MERCHANT'S EXCHANGE, NEW YORK CITY -THE GREAT FIRE OF DECEMBER, 1835. Scarce color lithograph, a 1909 reissue of the original 1836 print, after Alfred A. Hoffy (American, 1796-1872), published by Charles Swasey, New Bedford, MA. Depicts a large group of people evacuating the 1835 fire at the Merchant's Exchange and surrounding buildings, as firemen attempt to subdue the flames. Title and publication information, lower center under image. W. Graham Arader III, King of Prussia framing label, en verso. Housed and matted under glass in a giltwood frame with lamb's tongue running pattern. Image – 16" H x 20 7/8" W. Sight – 18 1/8" H x 21 5/8" W. 27" H x 30 1/4" W. Provenance: The Guardsmark Collection, Lipman Holdings International, Memphis, Tennessee. Note: The 1835 fire was one of the worst in New York City's history. Much of lower Manhattan – including most of Wall Street – went up in flames. Adding to the severity of the blaze was the weather: gale force winds surging in from the Northwest and brutally cold temperatures that dipped to negative 17 degrees. Firemen chopped holes in the ice in the East River to get water, but it froze in the hand pumpers. The fire burned out of control for almost two days and forever altered a significant portion of the city's architecture. It is unclear how many copies of the 1909 version of Hoffy's print were produced, but today they are nearly as rare as the original: another copy of this 1909 reissue is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. CONDITION: Overall good condition with light toning. 1/8" x 3/8" tear, lower right corner (does not affect image). Not examined outside of frame.
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