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Item #39693 The South Prospect of the City of New York in America. William BURGIS, after, fl.

[BURGIS, William (fl. 1716-1731), after]

The South Prospect of the City of New York in America

London: 1761. Copper engraving. Sheet size: 7 1/4 x 21 1/4 inches.

Scarce and attractive early view of downtown Manhattan in New York City, first published in 1761.

In 1716, William Burgis drew the waterfront along the east side of Manhattan from a point on the shore of Brooklyn Heights, showing the river, crowded with naval and commercial vessels, and a couple miles of the southeast side of Manhattan, including Fort George and Trinity Church, which was not yet heavily settled. Burgis titled the drawing "A South Prospect of Ye Flourishing City of New York" and sent it to London, where John Harris engraved the image on four copper plates, creating a six-foot-wide panoramic view when printed. The print was first advertised for sale in America in 1721 in "The American Weekly Mercury as A Curious Prospect of the City of New-York," and copied several times over the years, including Thomas Bakewell's 1746 reissue and the new impression engraved for the London Magazine in 1761. There are three known variants of the view, one of which was printed with separate copper plates. The present variant comes from the same plate as one other, lacking only the "Engrav'd for the London Magazine 1761" imprint at the top. The title differs from the third variant, which reads "New York in North America," rather than just "America," as here. There are some other subtle differences from the third variant, namely that many of the sailing ships in this edition do not show people on board, whereas all the sailing ships in the other editions show people aboard the ships. It may be that the first copper plate which this print was from wore from heavy use and needed to be replaced.

Item #39693

Price: $2,500.00

See all items by William BURGIS, after, fl.