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Object Name Print
Artist Roberts, W.
Date July 16, 1853
Title The Oyster Business
Description Full page (page 20) from Illustrated News, dated July 16, 1853. The page has three engraved illustrations of oystering. Captions: "THE OYSTER BUSINESS - RAKING FOR OYSTERS"; "THE OYSTER BUSINESS - DREDGING FOR OYSTERS"; and "FAMOUS OYSTER LOCALITY. - VIEW OF PRINCE'S BAY". The center image, depicting sailboats on the water, is signed "W. ROBERTS, SC." The accompanying article describes the oyster business, stating, "Prince's Bay is notorious for its oysters, which are deemed almost unrivalled for size and flavor." It describes some oysters, the "aborigines," as being "the size of a common breakfast plate."
(Keywords: Princes Bay, New York)
Ownership and History These views show oystering activity off the shore of Princes Bay, Staten Island. Oystering in the waters around Staten Island predates the arrival of European explorers in the 17th century. By the 1850s the oyster trade had grown so extensive that it was considered one of the foremost industries in the region.

The painting "Oystering at Prince's Bay" in the Staten Island Historical Society's collection was inspired by the "Raking for Oysters" print at the top of the page (see catalog record P01.0057).

See the book ”Staten Island Scenery: Paintings, Prints, Drawings and Photographs, 1679-1900” by Barnett Shepherd for more information (figures 59 and 60).
Earliest Date 1853
Latest Date 1853
Maker Beach, H.D. & A.E. (publisher)
Material Paper
Subjects Boats
Oystering
Lighthouses
Lexicon Sub-category Art
Catalog Number X93.1204
Support Acknowledgment Online Collections Database record made possible by the Staten Island Historical Society, March 2016.
Legal Status Images and text in this database are copyrighted by the Staten Island Historical Society unless otherwise noted. Items represented here are from the collections of the Staten Island Historical Society. Materials reproduced for personal non-commercial use must credit the Staten Island Historical Society. Commercial licensing is available.