Auction 136, Lot 321

One of the earliest prints of New York City

"[Lot of 3] Novum Amsterodamum [together with two engravings]", Montanus, Arnoldus

Subject: New York City, New York

Period: 1673 (published)


Color: Black & White

6.5 x 5 inches
16.5 x 12.7 cm

Montanus' work was perhaps the greatest illustrated book on the New World produced in the seventeenth century. It contained over one hundred beautifully engraved plates, views, and maps of North and South America. The plates vividly depict forts, festivals, occupations, Dutch fleets, battles, religious rites, and customs of the native inhabitants. This important work was translated into German by Olivier Dapper, and into English by John Ogilby. Several of the plates were later acquired by Pierre Vander Aa.

The view shows the small Dutch settlement of New Amsterdam, located on the southern tip of Manhattan. The Dutch first settled in the area in 1626 after purchasing the island from the Indians for $24. Viewed from the harbor, it depicts the settlement with a few wooden buildings, a large church, a windmill, and most prominently a gallows and swinging gibbet. This engraving has been attributed to two different artists: Laurens Hermansz Block who was the artist aboard the Dutch ship Lydia that visited New York in 1650; or a drawing by Augustine Herremans, ensign of the Burgher's camp in 1660. In 1664 New Amsterdam was captured by the British and renamed New York, in honor of James, the Duke of York. Included with the view are two engravings of a native family and a view of some incredible local animals (including a unicorn). Sheets measure 7.5 x 12". German text below and on verso.


Condition: B+

Some toning and a stain on right-hand side of all 3 pages just entering neatline.

Estimate: $600 - $750

Sold for: $450

Closed on 6/1/2011