Catalog Archive
Auction 156, Lot 288

One of the Earliest Views of New York City

"Novum Amsterodamum", Montanus, Arnoldus

Subject: New York City, New York

Period: 1671 (circa)

Publication: De Nieuwe en Onbekende Weereld

Color: Hand Color

6.4 x 5 inches
16.3 x 12.7 cm

Montanus' work was perhaps the greatest illustrated book on the New World produced in the seventeenth century. It contained over one hundred beautifully engraved plates, views, and maps of North and South America. The plates vividly depict forts, festivals, occupations, Dutch fleets, battles, religious rites, and customs of the native inhabitants. This important work was translated into German by Olivier Dapper, and into English by John Ogilby. Several of the plates were later acquired by Pierre Vander Aa.

This view shows the small Dutch settlement of New Amsterdam, located on the southern tip of Manhattan. The Dutch first settled in the area in 1626 after purchasing the island from the Indians for $24. This view is thought to be engraved from an original drawing by Laurens Hermansz Block, a Dutch artist who visited New York in 1650 aboard the merchant vessel Lydia. Viewed from the harbor, it depicts the settlement with a few wooden buildings, a large church and a windmill. In 1664 New Amsterdam was captured by the British and renamed New York, in honor of James, the Duke of York. In the accompanying text, the town is described as it was in 1670; now with around four hundred houses protected by James-Fort. Published by Jacob van Meurs. Dutch text on verso.


Condition: B+

A dark impression with light toning. Trimmed close to neatlines.

Estimate: $450 - $550

Sold for: $325

Closed on 2/17/2016