Thomas Shotter Boys first served as an apprentice in London under the engraver George Cooke and was soon absorbed by this gifted family of artists and engravers. As with many artists of the day, Shotter Boys moved to Paris in the early 1820s to pursue a career as an engraver and water colourist. Between 1833-37, he supplied 24 lithographic views to Charles Nodier’s Voyages Pittoresques et Romantiques and in 1839, issued his first major work, Picturesque Architecture in Paris, Ghent, Antwerp, Rouen…. published by his cousin Thomas Boys in London and printed by Charles Hullmandel. The plates were of exceptionally high quality, printed in colour from a succession of stones working up from primary colours to a graduation of tints from overprinting; a technique Shotter Boys claimed as his own invention.
In 1842, Shotter Boys issued his next major work, Original Views of London As It Is…, again in concert with his cousin Thomas Boys and Hullmandel. The lithographs were printed in monochrome but designed to be finished by hand. At the time of publication Shotter Boys was widely known, having been elected to the New Water Colour Society and his views were enthusiastically received. Shotter Boys personalised many of his plates with allusions to or puns of his name; of particular note is the view of the Tower and the Mint with the two fat boys who became John Tenniel’s inspiration for Tweedledee and Tweedledum.
Unusually tranquil in its depiction of the growing Metropolis, London As It Is… remains one of the most desirable representations of early Victorian London.
Below are a few examples from this collection of original antique Shotter Boys lithographs. Please click on an image to see it in high-resolution with details of the work itself. For the full list of views available, please do contact us.