From 1770 to 1777, mezzotint engraver and print seller Robert Laurie was apprenticed to Robert Sayer, who published prints, maps and charts from 53 Fleet Street. Laurie later re-joined the firm as an assistant and, with fellow assistant James Whittle, took over the business when Sayer retired in 1794.
This print was published in 1800 by the firm of Laurie & Whittle. This print was included in Laurie’s ‘Views of the City of London shewing [sic] some of its principal streets, churches, and public edifices; with places of interest in the City of Westminster & Suburbs, as existing in the XVIIIth Century’, re-published by Richard Holmes Laurie (the son of Robert Laurie) in 1840 as a celebration of the many plates published at 53 Fleet Street by Sayer, Laurie & Whittle and R. H. Laurie. Plates, engraved for Laurie & Whittle or for R. H. Laurie, tend not to include the name of the artist or engraver and are often of inferior quality to those of Sayer. This example demonstrates that for some plates, the engraving of features such as the sky was done with mechanically ruled lines.
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