Dec 09, 2021 - Sale 2591

Sale 2591 - Lot 394

Price Realized: $ 4,680
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 5,000 - $ 7,500
(NEW YORK CITY.) Hughson Hawley; attributed to. [Trinity and United States Realty Buildings]. Graphite, ink, and watercolor on paper. 53 1/2x42 inches sight size; archivally attached to acid-free board with silk-covered duplex matting; stains and restorations; attractive gilt frame. New York, circa 1907

Additional Details

A dominant rendering of the magnificent Gothic-inspired Financial District skyscrapers designed by New York City architect Francis H. Kimball.

A signature cannot be located but the inimitable style and detailed focus of Hughson Hawley is seen in every block of curtain wall limestone and ornamental finial. Trinity Church and the Empire Building (also designed by Kimball) can be seen to the left of the Broadway façade; a wide-open plaza is to the right where Zuccotti Park currently exists; and an elevated train runs behind the buildings.

We have been able to trace several instances of the image reproduced in the early 20th century, though nothing close to the grand scale of this original watercolor. Its likeness is pictured and captioned in the January 26, 1907 Real Estate Record and Builders' Guide on page 156; on several contemporary postcards or advertisement-type ephemera; and the Museum of the City of New York holds a photographic dry plate negative of the watercolor, credited to the Wurts Brothers.

In the lower margin there is some writing, "For Mr. Kimball…", a line which appears to be something along the lines of original framing specifications rather than a gift inscription. Certainly Mr. Kimball would have wished to proudly display such an authentic and imposing illustration of one of his greatest architectural achievements.