David Davidson of New York – Baxter Process Printer - 1854

Fig 1 - The bottom half of an advert in the Norton Literary Gazette 15th Feb 1854 listing the 'unknown' Bradshaws bottom right Fig 2 - Lover's meeting Fig 3 - The Lovers Fig 4 - Swiss Girl Fig 5 - Meditation - Fig 6 Girl and Goat Fig 7 - My Little Dog Fig 8 - Drachenfells Fig 9 - Innocence

Further to my recent ‘chat ’ regarding David Davidson, Baxter’s agent in New York, see link at foot of page. Of the many adverts Davidson placed for Baxter, Le Blond and Bradshaw prints that I found, one dated 15th February 1854 was particularly interesting on various levels. I noticed that under the list of “Bradshaw’s Splendid Oil Coloured Print” it listed many of the prints we know and then, half way through, a list of titles I had never heard of, were these unknown Bradshaw & Blacklock prints?

At around the same time a good friend and co-author of the Price Guide to Baxter Prints, the late Mike Martin, sent me an image entitled Lovers Meeting, asking did I think this was a Kronheim published in America? It definitely looked like it could be by Kronheim but I recognised the ‘publishers’ name and address in the corner of the card, Davidson 109 Nassau Road NY and the title of the print was on the list of ‘unknown’ Bradshaws.

After a number of emails and swapping of information Mike and I found that these were actually printed by David Davidson himself. Having seen and sold Baxter and various licencee prints, and perhaps knowing that Baxter’s Patent was now expiring, he decided ‘to have a go’ himself. Nothing has ever been recorded about Baxter in fact ever having taken a patent in America.

In an article written in 1979 for the Princeton University Library Chronicle, Mike’s namesake, Morris Martin explains Davidson (described here as a printer and engraver) and agent for Baxter’s exhibit at the New York Exhibition advertised in 1855 that he would “soon be ready to exhibit an extraordinary specimen of (Baxter’s ) art”. The authors note at the foot of the page states ”This turned out to be a poor imitation of Baxter’s Process, with which, as the patent expired in 1854 Davidson was free to experiment”.

This seems to confirm our thoughts that, after seeing many examples of Baxter Process prints and Baxter’s patent now expired Davidson issued a number of prints himself and that the list of ‘unknown’ Bradshaws are in fact his prints. We have managed to get images of 8 Davidson prints from the 34 on his 1854 list including one image, Innocence, which wasn’t listed but that still leaves 27 prints, can anyone assist?

All the copies seen so far come on Baxter type high gloss card with gold title and border apart from Drachenfells which has no border and poorer quality card.

So for the first time, a ‘complete’ catalogue of prints by David Davidson of New York published circa 1854 printed by the Baxter Process

1) 8 Flowers
2) 2 Lovers - (Lovers’ meeting) –(Fig 2)
3) Fransceso
4) The Lovers – (Fig 3)
5) Louis XIV
6) Swiss Girl – (Fig 4)
7) Meditation – (Fig 5)
8) Rigolette
9) Griselda & Goat ( Girl & Goat) – (Fig 6)
10) Girl & Dove
11) My Little Dog – (Fig 7)
12) Fire in the Rear
13) 2 Sisters
14) Going to Market
15) Tintern Abbey
16) Conway Castle
17) Rhine
18) Windsor
19) Kenilworth
20) River Po
21) English Palace
22) Warwick
23) Craigmillar
24) Seine
25) Edinburgh
26) Alps
27) Rhine No. 2
28) (The) Drachenfel(l)s – (Fig 8)
29) 36 D Men
30) Greek Slave
31) Eva
32) Eliza
33) Geo.Harris
34) 15 Flowers
35) Innocence – (Fig 9)

The titles on some of the mounts are not exactly as printed in Davidson’s 1854 advert so we have had to make some assumptions – hopefully accurate, unless you can tell us different? Can you help with any information or images of the missing prints?