Auction 139, Lot 235

"Prospect des Plazes vor dem Rath Haus zu Boston / Vue de la Rue et de la Maison de Ville a Boston", Haberman, F. X.

Subject: Boston, Massachusetts

Period: 1780 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

15.5 x 12.5 inches
39.4 x 31.8 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 view of the Old State House in Boston is actually a fictitious rendering of the building. Built in 1657, the Old State House was the center of government for the colony of Massachusetts. The image title in French, Vue de Boston, is printed in reverse above image.


Condition: B+

Wide margins, with a 2" tear in lower blank margin closed on verso with old paper. Windows have been precisely cut out to give 3D effect. Small, faint stains in blank margins.

Estimate: $375 - $450

Sold for: $275

Closed on 2/15/2012