Catalog Archive
Auction 145, Lot 493

"A General View of the City of Amsterdam from the Tye / Vue General de la Ville d'Amsterdam du Cote de Tye", Anon.

Subject: Amsterdam, Netherlands

Period: 1760 (dated)


Color: Hand Color

14.7 x 8.3 inches
37.3 x 21.1 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.

This attractive perspective view of Amsterdam features many ships and boats in the harbor with the city profile in the background. Perspective views, or optical prints, were popular in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and were meant to be viewed under an optical viewing device such as a zograscope, which consists of a large magnifying lens to enhance the depth perception of the flat image.


Condition: B+

Watermarked paper with some light toning and scattered stains.

Estimate: $120 - $150

Sold for: $120

Closed on 6/12/2013