Chromo Litho by G.W. Aver'ell 23 Platt St. NY
Entered according to Act of Congress in the year 1870 by
Gurney & Son in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the
U.S. for the Southern District of New York
10.75" X 14.0" - not framed
Being a collector of "everything Gurney", I was very skeptical of the sales listing, "by Gurney & Son".
It was listed as manufactured in 1820, but the actual date is 1870 - which places this piece at the height of popularity of "Chromos", "Chrome Lithographs" or best know as "Chromolithography". This form of art reproduction was available to
New York residents at an affordable price to adorn their homes and Victorian parlors. Landscapes
were the most popular offerings, but the subjects varied from large still-lifes to this playful kitten.
Gurney's relationship with George Aver'ell is unknown, but the traffic through his Broadway studio would
be a great place to display and sell this new form of production art work. Gurney was a very successful
photographer and businessman and I'm sure he realized the potential to benefit both parties. The year
1870 would place Jeremiah and Benjamin Gurney "Gurney & Son" in their 108 5th Avenue (at 16th Street) Studio in NYC.
Gurney was well know for his "Gallery" of lithographs, albumen and other photo products, that his waiting customers would be able to preview and purchase. He also displayed collections of oil paintings for his customer's enjoyment.
Producing a Chromolithograph required several months of creating printing plates for each of the colors
used in the original oil painting. The trial and error process to match the original was very expensive -
costing over $7,000.00 to produce, but it yielded superior results.
George W. Aver'ell was a lithographer and printer working in New York City who capitalized on this new process.
The artist who produced the original oil painting is Lily M (Martin) Spencer. Lily was one of the most
popular and successful female artists of the 19th century.
This Chromolithograph sold for $10.00 in 1870. How many different types and quantities sold of these
Chromolithographs is unknown.
Keywords:Chrome Lithograph, Chromo Litho by Gurney & Son, Chromo Lithograph, G.W. Averell, George W Aver'ell