Aldgate antique print. Steel engraved print by Thomas Hosmer Shepherd, dated in the plate 1830, with Aldgate pump in the centre of a busy Georgian street scene.
Aldgate Pump is a historic water pump in London, located at the junction where Aldgate meets Fenchurch Street and Leadenhall Street. The pump marks the start of the road towards Norwich and distances to locations in Middlesex, Essex and beyond were measured from here. This contributed to the pump’s status as the symbolic start of the East End of London. The metal wolf head on the pump’s spout is supposed to signify the last wolf shot in the City of London.
Thomas Hosmer Shepherd was employed to illustrate architecture in London, and other cities in the united Kingdom. His paintings were the basis for steel engravings in many books. Shepherd’s work, mostly topographical, is characterized by an attention to detail, along with lifelike scenes that contained people, carriages and horses. His first acclaim came with ‘Metropolitan Improvements; or London in the Nineteenth Century,’ a publication of modern London architecture commissioned by Jones & Co. He worked mostly for Frederick Crace, who employed him to paint old London buildings prior to their demolition, with much of the work surviving in the Crace collection at the British Museum. The sub-title of Metropolitan Improvements reads, ‘a series of views of the new and most interesting objects’ in the British Metropolis & Its Vicinity: from Original Drawings by Mr Thos. H. Shepherd, with historical, topographical and critical illustrations.’ Thanks to Wikipedia for much of the above information.