This original wood engraving is titled “The Restaurant of the House of Representatives, Washington, DC.” It was published as a double-page image, in the August 12, 1893 issue of the famous 19th century newspaper Harper’s Weekly. The print was illustrated by Charles Stanley Reinhardt.
The House Restaurant, a unique part of life in the Capitol, has been in the same location since the 1857 Capitol expansion. Congressional members’ busy work schedule made the availability of food on site a necessity. But the restaurant also served as an informal meeting spot for members to continue conversations and deal making.
This 1893 print illustrates the convivial atmosphere. Details including elegantly dressed tables, servers, elaborate floral arrangements, and coolers of wine further indicate the atmosphere that pervaded.
Harper’s Monthly Magazine was founded by Fletcher Harper in 1850. Edited by Henry Raymond, the journal initially aimed to be a premier literary magazine and focused on publishing established authors such as Charles Dickens and William Thackeray. The venture was a great success and in 1857 the company also began publishing a pictorial weekly newspaper, Harper's Weekly.
Harper's Weekly was one of the first American newspapers to incorporate woodcut illustrations. By 1860 the circulation of Harper's Weekly reached 200,000 and it became the nation’s most influential newspaper.
Good condition. Wood engraving, with hand-colored watercolor wash. Healthy paper, with good margins and only light rippling of paper at top. Centerfold present, as issued.
Print is custom-framed with colored double mats, a gold filet, and custom-built brushed gold wooden frame. Framed Dimensions: 24" H x 29 1/4" W x 1" D.