Catalog Archive
Auction 138, Lot 330

Rare Early City View of Philadelphia

"The East Prospect of the City of Philadelphia, in the Providence of Pennsylvania", London Magazine

Subject: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Period: 1761 (published)


Color: Black & White

19.5 x 6.5 inches
49.5 x 16.5 cm

This lovely and scarce view of Philadelphia is taken from Nicholas Scull and George Heap's view, which was one of the first published views of Philadelphia. In response to a request by Thomas Penn, Heap made a drawing of Philadelphia from the New Jersey shore. Thomas Penn then acquired the drawing and had two engravings made; a large format in 1754 and a smaller version in 1756. The 1756 version was then published in the October 1761 London Magazine. Interestingly, the publication information above the print has been blocked out, but one can clearly decipher the London Magazine imprint.

This detailed engraving shows Philadelphia from across the Delaware River. There are two insets at the upper left and right of the State House and Battery. In the forefront is a small section of the New Jersey shore along with many boats and ships, including one that appears to be firing a cannon. Some locations are marked with numbers but there is no key, which was most likely omitted in this reduced version of the view.


Condition: B

There is some extraneous creasing and some minor soiling and spots. Ink marks cover the attribution above the image. Issued folding.

Estimate: $750 - $1,000

Sold for: $500

Closed on 12/7/2011