Auction 134, Lot 265

"La Destruction de la Statue Royale a Nouvelle Yorck", Haberman, F. X.

Subject: New York City

Period: 1780 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

15.8 x 9.5 inches
40.1 x 24.1 cm

Optical prints (or vue d’optique) were made to be viewed in a special apparatus that provided the viewer with an illusion of depth (early 3-D). The large mirror employed in the viewing machine showed the image reversed so many of these views have the titles and information engraved forward and backwards to facilitate viewing in the machine or by hand. These prints were only produced for a short period of time (1740 to 1790) and then were replaced with the invention of the smaller steroviewer. These views are some of the most distinctive and interesting images of the eighteenth century, and their distinctive engraving style, striking perspective and bright original color makes them as visually delightful as they are historically fascinating.

This great vue d'Optique engraving shows the destruction of the statue of King George III in New York City following the reading of the Declaration of Independence to the American army on July 10, 1776. One of the most interesting things about this view is its inaccuracy. The statue shown bears no resemblance to the actual monument that was destroyed and the American soldiers here look much more like West Indian slaves. Nevertheless, this is an important print representing one of the defining moments of the American Revolution.


Condition: B+

Close but adequate margins. Some soiling or toning in lower area of title. Very nice impression and strong color.

Estimate: $220 - $275

Sold for: $170

Closed on 12/1/2010