Lot 53
  • 53

Birch, William [artist] — Samuel Seymour [engraver]

12,000 - 15,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • The City of New York in the State of New York, North America. Springland, Pennsylvanian: William Birch [and] William H. Morgan, “1st January 1803” [ca. 1820]
  • paper, ink
(21 7/8 x 28 5/8 in;. 554 x 728 mm), copper engraving, hand-colored.

Expert repairs to margins.


Deak, America p. 245; Pyne Collection (1912) 29; Stauffer 2884; Stokes I, plate 77, pp.468-469

Catalogue Note

"This rendering of New York from across the East River is a companion to William Birch's view of Philadelphia ... and was issued by the artist to arouse interest in a projected series of views of New York, which never appeared. Birch explains in his unpublished autobiography ... that he visited New York frequently in his endeavor to prepare an iconography of the city ... 'I took many turns to New York where I met with friendly reception and politeness. I had nearly completed a set of drawings of that city which I meant to publish as a companion Volume to the Philadelphia; but found profits of the undertaking was not equal to the expense of travelling and the support of my family.’ A description for this view was included in a prospectus for the first edition of Birch's famed Philadelphia views" (Deak). As seen from the vantage of Brooklyn Heights, the present view depicts all the major buildings of the City in 1802, beginning with the south end of the Battery on the left. Visible  is the steeple of Trinity Church (at the west end of Wall Street), St. Paul's, St. George's, and the Dutch Reformed Church. The present example is the third state, in which a picnic party was substituted where a white horse originally stood.