Paul de Longpre Roses Print Beer Tobacianna Prohibition Cigar.
This oversize print was illustrated by the Victorian artist, Paul de Longpre (see biography below). It was made for the Jacob Hoffmann Brewing Company of Rondout, New York, and dates to the 1890's period. It is a very early print in de Longpre's career, and most likely was executed while he resided on the East Coast. And it is BIG and scarce.
The print has a tall urn stuffed to overflowing with old garden cabbage roses and hops. Next to the urn on the tabletop is a schooner of frothy beer and a lighted cigar. The advertising is wonderful on this piece, again rare in de Longpre's works. We know this is de Longpre's work because the ledge in the print was historically documented, used many times by him in other prints and paintings. This print is unsigned, not uncommon for a new artist. In many cases, the artist had to "earn" the right to put their name on a print, and in other instances, the signature was purposely omitted, lest a competitor discover who the artist was and steal them away! The artwork is superbly executed, unmistakably de Longpre. In many ways, the subject matter is almost scandalous when associated with this famous flower painter.
Some historical information on the JACOB HOFFMANN BREWERY:
The brewery on Hone St near the corner of German St was probably established prior to 1866 by William Bertsche. By 1879, the company was owned by Charles Staudacher. In 1881 the business was purchased by the Jacob Hoffmann Brewing Company of New York City. Philip Hoffmann, son of Jacob, was sent to Kingston as manager of the brewery.
"Monopol" lager beer was manufactured and in 1885 the business was called Philip Hoffmann's Rondout Oriental Brewery. The company was incorporated in 1887.
"Extra Wiener", "Saazer", "Salvator", "Culmbacher" and "Lager Beer" were some other beers and ales that the Hoffmann brewery advertised. The Hoffmann brewery listed their address as 46 Hone St Rondout.
By 1899, the Oriental Hotel was built on a bluff overlooking Kingston Point park. It was very popular during the summer months. Since there was no alcoholic beverages allowed in the Kingston Point Park... (as per the owner, Samuel Coykendall)... this provided the men of the families a place to imbibe (alcoholic beverages), if they wished, while their wives and children enjoyed the amusements at the park. The park was a landing for the Dayliners that arrived to Kingston from New York City.
By 1902 the Jacob Hoffmann Brewery was listed in the City of Kingston Directory as a distrusting warehouse. So it appears that local brewing of beer, ales and porter ales at that site ceased.
The Oriental Hotel at Kingston Point burned down on the evening of March 31st 1922. The cause of the fire was listed as " of incendiary origin". The hotel was closed during the winter months and was unoccupied at the time of the fire.
On April 23rd 1926, "The Kingston Freeman & Journal" reported that the brewery building was raided by Revenue Agents and the Kingston Police. The cellars under the old brewery extended into the ground for a depth of 75 feet. The agents required searchlights to inspect the cellars which extended the full length of the building and tunneled deeply underground. In this sub-cellar was found a 500 gallon still to make whiskey. This equipment was later destroyed. The old brewery had not been operation for fully 30 years (1896) and some of the old vats and tanks showed that they had not been used in years. Three men involved in this illegal operation were arrested and fined.
The buildings were vacant by 1931 and demolished about 1940. What a great piece of history indeed!
The print dates to the late 1890's, and is in VG condition. There is some edge wear, and a slight bend at the upper right corner (see photo) not detracting, but mentioned for accuracy. It is a chromolithograph with several overlapping color layers that align in perfect register. The color hues are unfaded and rich. The ledge in this print is shown in the book by Nancy C. Hall, the author of the book "The Art & Life of Paul de Longpre". Overall size is quite large at 21 x 31 inches, the largest de Longpre print ever produced. This is indeed a scarce and unique piece for the de Longpre collector, as well as those who collect tobacco, brewery, and prohibition items.
Paul de Longpre biography:
Paul de Longpré (b. 1855, d. 1911), a French Victorian flower painter, was born in Villeurbanne, France (a suburb of Lyon). He was self-taught at a young age, favoring the little daisy and La France hybrid rose. De Longpre exhibited at the prestigious Paris Salon, but eventually lost most of his money in a bank collapse. He then emigrated to the United States in 1890, living in New York.
In an age when many artists were painting oils on dark, moody canvasses, de Longpre gained fame with his cheery, bright watercolor studies through a New York exhibition in the dead of winter. He eventually moved to Hollywood in 1899 where flowers were more plentiful year round, and befriended many influential residents and politicians. There he built a palatial Moorish style mansion, which became quite a large tourist attraction, and gleaned the coveted first stop on the famous Balloon Route Excursion. Tourists would walk from the rail cars into his rose garden, where they could enjoy his 3,000 rose bushes in full bloom, tour the mansion, and also buy original watercolor paintings.
De Longpre was one a very few artists who gained recognition and fame during his lifetime, and he was quite successful, parlaying his paintings into many different 1890’s media, such as: chromolithographic prints, celluloid mirror and photo albums, sheet music, shaving mirrors, seed and perfume displays, as well as using the studies for countless advertising prints. He died at the young age 56, from tuberculosis, a common malady at that time, after a long battle with an ear infection. He was survived by his three daughters, none of whom had children. His wife Josephine, and his daughter Pauline moved back to France after the mansion was sold, and in 1925, the mansion was demolished to make room for new bungalow housing. His watercolor paintings and chromolithograph prints are his greatest legacy, and are highly sought after.
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