Original Artwork and Unique Lithographed View For A Gilded Age Hotel on Long Island.
A superb pairing of original artwork and unique printed view for a Gilded Age hotel in the upscale neighborhood of Sands Point, Long Island.
The lithograph features a central view of the whole property, with a large beach and beachside pavilion. The main hotel sits at the top of a slope. Guests are shown playing the water -- with numerous women in full dresses standing or laying in the water. The view has five insets; clockwise from upper left: Voliere; Pavilion; Facade; Groud-Plan; Terrace. Music Pavilion. Bath Houses.
There is scant evidence that the hotel was built in this form; "Louis Berndt" and the "Sands Point Hotel" are recorded in the Real Estate Record and Builders' Guide for 1888, and an "annual excursion to Louis Berndt's Pavilion, Sands Point, Long Island." is mentioned in the New York Times in the same year. Louis Berndt's hotel would have likely been bought up in the rush to build palatial estates in Sands Points at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries.
Comparing the Original Artwork and the Lithographed View
Heissinger's pencil drawing has an obvious unfinished quality to it -- he hasn't filled in the most detailed section of the beachfront, and the title has been hastily amended to read "Sands Point Hotel" instead of the original "Sands Point Beach". Heissinger signed the drawing in the lower right corner, adding the address of his office in New York City.
The finished lithograph departs from the drawing in a few other places -- mainly to add detail -- but overall they are remarkably similar, and the lineage is without question.
Sands Point, New York
Beginning in the second half of the 19th century, Sands Point was one of the most affluent areas of Long Island, boasting homes of the Vanderbilt, Gould, Hearst, and Guggenheim families. In F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby (1925), Sands Point was referred to as "East Egg". East Egg residents inherited their fortunes and were more highly respected than the nouveau riche in newer "West Egg" (Great Neck/Kings Point), because Sands Point had "old money". The story's fictional Buchanans lived in the western part of Sands Point.
The lithograph and drawing certainly come from the collection of Franz Xaver Heissinger; they were purchased along with other lithographed renderings from different points in Heissinger's career, including work from before he had moved to the United States, and one other incomplete proof print.
OCLC shows no records for the printed view. We cannot trace any sale records in Rarebookhub or elsewhere.
Cornell University holds papers of Franz Xaver Heissinger including "Landscape plans for estates, parks, resorts in Switzerland and in Montgomery County and Staten Island, N.Y. (14 items) and three certificates and diplomas, 1873-1889."
Franz Xaver Heissinger was a landscape architect who began his career in Munich. He seems to have been active in Switzerland planning parks and gardens in the Luzern area in the mid-1860s.
By 1873, he was commissioned to design a plan for the new city of Helvetia (Schweizer-Siedlung) and also exhibited his plans at the Vienna Exhibition in 1873.
He would later move to New York, where he designed a number of hotel gardens, parks, and similar installations.