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Royal Procession on the Opening of London Bridge

 
Royal Procession on the Opening of London Bridge by CATNACH, James (1831)
Author: CATNACH, James
Title: Royal Procession on the Opening of London Bridge with the Arrangements of the Entertainment
 
Year: 1831
Publisher: J Catnach
Place: London
Dust Jacket: No
Signed: No
 
Price: £600
 
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Added under Rare books

(51x38cm) Large broadside to mark the opening of London Bridge, giving details of the royal procession, banquet and the spectacular entertainments of 1st August, 1831. The woodcut is mounted on Japan tissue with tiny losses where old folds met in the middle of the broadside, otherwise toning and light spotting only to this delicate imprint. Like the example at the Science Museum this one is uncoloured with three crude wood-engravings depicting London Bridge decorated with flags, a large tent and on the river Thames a flotilla including the Royal Barge, the banks crowded with people, and overhead a hot air. There are four columns of text which offer an account of the preparations for the ceremony, and two songs, 'The Landing of Royal William and Adelaide at London Bridge' and 'New London Bridge and King William for ever!' The whole is set within a decorative fern leaf border. No doubt issued as a souvenir for the crowds attending the opening of the new London Bridge on 1st August, 1831, by the well-known Northumbrian-born publisher of chapbooks, penny dreadfuls and broadsides, James Catnach printed the broadside at Seven Dials near Covent Garden. The opening of new London Bridge marked the replacement of the 600 hundred-year-old London Bridge with its new design of five stone arches by John Rennie. This crossing lasted until the early 1970s when it was replaced by the current bridge. Famously, the discarded granite exterior blocks were bought by a property developer and shipped to Lake Havascu City in Arizona where they were clad onto a new structure that recreated the old bridge. Worldcat locates only NLS but also held at Science Museum and V&A.
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