A View of the Custom House, with Part of the Tower, taken from ye River / Vue de la Doane et une Partie de la Tour, prise de la Riviere Thamise a Londres

John Maurer
Thomas Bowles (1712 - 1767)

Coloured engraving

published 1753
  • About the work

    In 1275 the first Custom House was built to administer and collect duties on imported goods at the Old Wool Quay in east London. Sir Christopher Wren designed the second Custom House (built 1669-71) in Lower Thames Street. However, in 1714 Wren's building was severely damaged when a store of gunpowder exploded nearby. It was replaced with this design by Thomas Ripley (built 1717-25), constructed on the foundations of Wren’s building. An innovation in Ripley's design was the first Long Room, where customs officials received documents.

  • About the artist
    John Maurer was born in Switzerland. He moved to England in about 1745 and worked as a draughtsman and engraver, often making engravings from his own pen and ink drawings. His subjects are almost exclusively buildings in London. Examples of his work include perspective views of St James’ Palace, Westminster Abbey and Leicester Square.
    Thomas Bowles, designer and engraver, was the son a print publisher, also named Thomas Bowles (1689/90-1767). Bowles junior was born in London and trained as an engraver. He engraved botanical plates for ‘Pomona, or, The Fruit-Garden Illustrated’ (1729) and produced numerous topographical engravings. Bowles is chiefly known for his designs for 30 published views of the principal buildings in London, most of which he engraved himself. He was also a skilled scene painter. He died in December 1762 and was survived by his wife, Margaret, and his father.
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  • Details
    Title
    A View of the Custom House, with Part of the Tower, taken from ye River / Vue de la Doane et une Partie de la Tour, prise de la Riviere Thamise a Londres
    Date
    published 1753
    Medium
    Coloured engraving
    Acquisition
    Purchased from the Parker Gallery, February 1972
    GAC number
    9469