Clive A. Burden LTD. Rare Maps, Antique Atlases, Books and Decorative Prints

The Mapping of North America

Mr. Philip D. Burden​
P.O. Box 863,
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A group of five eighteenth-century engravings of the American colonies published by Carington Bowles (1724-93). They depict the towns of Charleston, New York, Montreal, Louisburg, and Bethlem. They bear print numbers in the upper right corner of 6 to 9 inclusive and 11. They are reduced examples of those published by his father, John Bowles (1701-79), Robert Sayer, Thomas Jefferys and Carington Bowles as the ‘Scenographia Americana’ in 1768. All except that is the Louisburg. By 1768 the British had destroyed the Fort and removed the garrison.

Stokes refers to this oblong quarto series in the ‘Iconography of Manhattan’ citing a Carington Bowles’s Catalogue for 1790. On page 136 of the catalogue is a collection of ‘Twelve remarkable Views in North America and the West Indies’. It goes on to list the 12 plates whose numeration matches those found on these engravings. They are described by Bowles as printed on half sheets of demy paper, twelve prints in a book, each eleven inches wide and seven inches deep, price 3s. plain or 8s. each set coloured. On page 144 Bowles goes on to state ‘The preceding sets of demy prints are adapted to be viewed in the diagonal mirror, and kept properly coloured for that purpose; or to frame and glaze for furniture: also designed to instruct, amuse and draw after.’ The diagonal mirror is a term for the zograscope otherwise known as an optical pillar. They were designed to enhance the perspective effect if the engraving and were popular in the day.

; ‘This latter edition was probably that composed of twelve quarto plates: ‘Twelve remarkable Views in North America and the West Indies,’ offered in …’. They do not appear in Sayer & Bennett’s Catalogue for 1775 therefore it is presumed the date of issue would have been after that date. The suggested date of 1781 is taken from Stokes. Deak (1988) 112; Snyder (1975) pp. 119-20 the Philadelphia in the series; Stokes (1915-28) vol. 1, pp. 281-95; Worms & Baynton-Williams (2011).
BOWLES, Carington

A View of Charles Town, the Capital of South Carolina, in North America/ A South West View of the City of New York .../ An East View of Montreal .../ A View of Louisburg .../ A View of Bethlem ...

Carington Bowles, at his Map & Print Warehouse. No. 69 in St. Pauls Church Yard, London, c.1781
Five engravings, each c. 175 x 275 mm., in early wash colour, in good condition.
Stock number: 10764


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