A Stunning Advertising Poster
New York City/ Lower Hudson Valley/ Commercial History.
[New York? n.d. but 1910]


27 ¾ x 21 ½ inches, Chromolithograph. Mounted on poster canvas; mended 1 ½” split into image all but invisible, else an excellent, vibrant example.

An uncommonly striking, very rare, chromolithographed advertising poster, one of the finest we've of this type we've seen.   No other examples of this work appear in either market records or institutional collections.

The work presents an arresting aerial view of New York City and of the lower Hudson River up to Poughkeepsie and the Mid-Hudson Bridge.  In a somewhat strange juxtaposition, the river is flanked by lovely images of various farming mowers and reapers, which were the products of the advertiser, Adriance, Platt & Co.  Another vignette is an equally lovely bucolic scene.  Perhaps the intent here was to present city folk with the allures of the agrarian life, which is here depicted as rather easy work performed by well-dressed gentlemen aboard nifty machines.  Also, the imagery references the fact that the company began in New York City before moving to Poughkeepsie; see below.

Chromolithography was the most refined color printing process of its day.  With the use of several printing stones, the process was capable of producing a great variety of colors that could be, as vividly seen here, quite artfully blended.  The technique was used for fine art reproductions as well as various images, often of a patriotic nature, to be hung in homes of the United States' growing bourgeoise.  Companies who sought to confer a special patina to their products, as was the case here, employed this medium rather than the other, cheaper but less refined lithographic methods.

The work is undated, so our suggested date of c. 1910 is based on bridges that appear in the image.  These include both the Manhattan Bridge, opened in 1909, and the Williamsburg, opened 1903.  Since both bridges were proposed a lot earlier, the print as well could be somewhat earlier.  A curious detail on the print is non-existent bridge over the Hudson River at 65th Street.  We have found no records of a proposed bridge for precisely this location.  However, in the late 19th century a bridge near the above location was proposed from 57th Street to Hoboken.  Its construction had in fact begun but was interrupted by the Panic of 1893.  The bridge would have been twice the length the George Washington Bridge.

Adriance, Platt & Co. began in 1852 in New York City as a wholesale hardware business founded by John Adriance, his son John P., and two other men.  The company soon moved into farm equipment and got their big break in 1857, when they bought the patent rights to the “Buckeye” mower.  They re-located to Poughkeepsie in 1859 and from thence forward were exclusively in manufacturing. The firm seems to have had considerable success, due to the Buckeye mower and other innovative products.  In 1913 it was sold to the Moline (Illinois) Plow Co. 

Not in OCLC. Not in the on-line catalog the Jay T. Last Collection at the Huntington Library.


Price: $3,500.00

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