Auction 145, Lot 353

"A View General of the City de Havana of Amerique", Daumont Co.

Subject: Havana, Cuba

Period: 1755 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

14.3 x 10.2 inches
36.3 x 25.9 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 splendid engraving of the bustling Cuban capital and the famous El Morro fortress. Although a somewhat imaginary and exotic concept of the city with grand churches, the lively composition depicts the importance of this well-fortified town and thriving port on the Spanish trade route. The foreground is filled with naval activity including a richly decorated galleon firing a salute.


Condition: A

On watermarked paper with light soiling confined to the blank margins.

Estimate: $350 - $450

Sold for: $275

Closed on 6/12/2013