Cordwainers Hall. Antique print of the livery hall of the Worshipful Company of Cordwainers, the City of London livery company for Cordwainers (workers in fine leather) from 1316 until its destruction in 1941. The hall stood in St. Paul’s Churchyard, facing Cannon Street. Five successive halls were built on the site, the last three were rebuilt in 1670, 1788, and 1910. A plaque marks the site. The 1788 hall was built by Sylvanus Hall, with the front of the hall decorated in stone by Robert Adam. The front of the hall featured a stone medallion of a “country girl spinning with a distaff…and of the thread of cordwainers or shoemakers.” The arms of the Cordwainers company was in the pediments of the building. The hall was destroyed during World War II in the London blitz, on 10–11 May 1941. This steel engraving of Cordwainers Hall is an original antique print by Thomas H. Shepherd. Thomas Hosmer Shepherd was the brother of topographical artist George “Sidney” Shepherd. Thomas was employed to illustrate architecture in London, and later Edinburgh, Bath and Bristol together with 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 concerning Cordwainers Hall.
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