John C. Farr and Company, Importers of Watches, Watchmakers Tools, Silver and Plated Ware, Musical Boxes, Et cetera. Number 112 Chestnut Street between Third and Fourth Streets, Philadelphia
This advertising print from circa 1850 shows street and pedestrian activity in front of the four-story corner storefront of the jewelry and watch store located at 112 ( i.e., 316) Chestnut Street in Philadelphia. A sign illustrated with a watch and reading, “No. 112 John C. Farr & Co. Wholesale and Retail,” adorns the side of the building. The sign is over a window with a shade that advertises watches, jewelry, and silverware. At the store entrance, a clerk greets two ladies and a girl between the display windows filled with silverware, jewelry, and watches. In front of the store, a lady and gentleman converse near the horses of an out-of-view carriage. At the corner, a man (possibly a store clerk) talks with two ladies who are accompanied by a child and dog. A partial view of the neighboring business (Eugene Roussel, perfumer) can be seen, including signage and the display window of the shop. This print also contains a Gothic-style border and pictorial elements that flank the central image. The pictorial elements are a clock sculpture, a pocket watch, and embellished text reading, “Watches” and “Jewelry.” Text at the bottom reads: “John C. Farr & Co. Importers of watches, watchmakers tools. Silver & plated ware, musical boxes, &c.” Farr started his business in the mid-1820s and changed the firm name to John C. Farr & Company in 1850. The business relocated circa 1854. This lithograph was printed by one of the most prominent lithographers and printers of the day, Peter S. Duval. Duval was born circa 1804 or 1805 in France. He emigrated from France to Philadelphia in the fall of 1831 to accept a job as a lithographer with the printing firm of Childs & Inman. By 1837 he had established his lithographic printing shop; he remained in business until his retirement in 1869.