Copper engraving, uncoloured, Anon. Published as Plate 66 of Maitland's 'History of London, A New Edition, 1775'.
Plate size: 8 1/8 x 12 7/8 inches - 205 x 328mm. plus borders: 10 x 16 inches - 255 x 408mm approx.
Generally good condition throughout.
The image shows Custom House from the river. The foreground is crowed with craft of all sorts, whilst the wharf itself is busy with the loading and unloading of cargoes.
This is a depiction of the Custom House built to the design of Thomas Ripley in 1715 to replace the one (by Wren) destroyed by fire. Daniel Defoe wrote of it “The stateliness of the building, showed the greatness of the business that is transacted there: the Long Room is like an Exchange every morning and the crowd of people who appear there, and the business they do, is not to be explained by words, nothing of that kind in Europe is like it”. The escalation of trade in the early nineteenth century along with general dilapidation, led to the planning of a larger building. In 1814 this became a necessity when Ripley's Custom House met the fate of its predecessors and was destroyed by fire.