Patrick Pollak

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BAKER STREET [Underground] Station.

A fine and rare chromolithograph with a little additional handcolouring, IMAGE SIZE : c. 59 x 38 cms., mounted on card with the above title lettered in maroon below the print.

The lithograph shows the interior of Baker Street Station, groups of passengers on opposite platforms, and a steam train entering the station. The rail track has three lines, one of which was provided in order to allow both narrow and broad gauge railway engines to use the system. The mount is discoloured by age, chipped and worn at the edges and with a semi-circular mark in one margin. The surface of the lithograph has a few very small surface scratches, visible in the image provided, otherwise a finely coloured and evocative print.

*The underground railway station at Baker Street was opened on January 10th. 1863, one of the original stations of the Metropolitan Railway, the world's first underground railway line, opening for traffic in 1863. Thus 2013 sees the 150th. anniversary of that occasion ! The North Metropolitan Railway, the original name of the Metropolitan Railway, was incorporated in 1853 in order to establish a line from the Great Western Railway terminus at Paddington to Farringdon, plus the provision of a connection to the Great Northern Railway at King's Cross. Traffic in London by mid-century had reached overwhelming levels. The beginnings of industrialisation had brought an influx of workers into London, many of whom by this time were forced to find homes on the periphery, on land that had once been agricultural. London's food and other materials had now to be brought in from further away, and workers had to either walk into London or be taken by horse-drawn transport. By 1860, it has been estimated that London had a population of over 300,000 horses, for whom stabling was required, feed had to be brought in and manure taken out. In addition to this colossal call upon the street system, by 1850, some two and a half million cattle, sheep, pigs and poultry were driven to the London markets and abbatoirs. Together, this was a potent impetus for the development of the railway. Work on the Metropolitan line was started in February 1860 using the "cut-and-cover" method of construction, the first section of which ran between Paddington and Farringdon Street in January 1863. Later that year, the decision was made to link the surface main-line terminals by an underground railway. The Baker Street station, owned by the Metropolitan Railway Company, was one of the first stations on the first underground railway line. Kell Brothers were engravers and printers in Castle Street, Holborn, London, specialising in lithographic prints. They were active from 1860 to the early 1870s. In 1860, the firm advertised in The Times, "TO LITHOGRAPHERS. - WANTED, good DRAUGHTSMEN and WRITERS..." They contributed to the first volume of The Architectural Dictionary, published in 1862, and produced a wide range of material, including topical scenes such as the new Metropolitan Railway station at Baker Street opened in 1863. In 1870, the firm participated in the competition run by the Art Union of London with chromo-lithographs of Belagio-Como from an original drawing by Birkett Foster. [WIKI]. References

Kell Bros. Chromo Litho, Castle St., Holborn [London].

Date Published: [1863?].

Stock No. 58754

Price: 1,100.00