CARWITHAM, John, engraver (fl. 1723-1760) after Burgis, William (fl. 1713-1730)
A South-East View of the Town of Boston in North America
London: Printed for Carington Bowles, Circa 1764. Copper engraving, on laid paper, full period hand colouring. Sheet size: 12 1/4 x 18 3/8 inches.
Early state of this important early view of Boston, based on an original drawing by William Burgis.
"This interesting view of Boston from the bay, showing the waterfront with the Long Wharf in the foreground, was ... based on the first state of the 1723 Burgis prospect of the New England city. When John Carwitham prepared the engraving, he added the Old South Meeting House and Hollis Street Meeting house, both built in 1731. The spire of Christ Church seen in the Burgis view -- then an architectural projection rather than a reality -- was retained by Carwitham even though the spire would not be built until about 1740" (Deák, p. 53). Finely hand-colored in a thick watercolor, the engraving was intended by Carington Bowles as part of a series of prints to be used in a peep show or optical viewer. Operating one of the largest print "warehouses" in London, Carington Bowles capitalized on the interest in the American colonies brought about by the Revolution and issued several such views of American cities.
Deák, Picturing America I,86; see also J. Winsor Memorial History of Boston II,pp. 531-2; Stokes and Haskall American Historical Prints p. 14; Cresswell 496.