Auction 139, Lot 623

"Vue de Nanhun", Haberman, F. X.

Subject: Nanhun, China

Period: 1770 (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.

A lovely view of Nanhun, China, in the Quantung (Guangdong) Province. A note at bottom in both German and French explains that a river flows through the city that is as black as ink, but contains fish that are quite delicate, and that the black soil is excellent for making the famous Chinese black pencils.


Condition: B

Original color with a few faint spots and a small abrasion at bottom right of image. There is light toning in blank margins and a few tiny tears in blank margins, two of which just enter image at top.

Estimate: $200 - $240

Sold for: $100

Closed on 2/15/2012