Catalog Archive
Auction 142, Lot 390

"Vue Perspective de l'Isle Ste. Helene, Appartenant a la Compagnie Angloise pour les Indes Orientales", Daumont Co.

Subject: Atlantic Islands, St. Helene

Period: 1770 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

15.5 x 9.2 inches
39.4 x 23.4 cm
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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 well rendered bird's-eye view of the island with numerous sailing ships and rowboats. The island, named after Saint Helena of Constantinople, was first discovered by the Portuguese in 1502. The island changed hands several times between the Portuguese, Dutch and English, until it was colonized by the English East India Company in 1659 and became one of Britain's oldest colonies outside of North America and the Caribbean.


Condition: B+

There is a vertical crease and light soiling.

Estimate: $200 - $230

Sold for: $150

Closed on 11/28/2012