Auction 170, Lot 285

Celebrating the Completion of the Erie Canal

"Memoir, Prepared at the Request of a Committee of the Common Council of the City of New York...", Colden, Cadwallader

Subject: New York, Erie Canal

Period: 1825 (published)


Color: Hand Color

8.3 x 10.1 inches
21.1 x 25.7 cm

This book, filled with illustrations, was published to celebrate the completion of the Erie Canal. The canal created a navigable water route between the Great Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean via New York City, firmly establishing the city as a commercial hub. Among the 46 plates in the volume are folding maps of the United States and the state of New York (each approximately 18 x 11"). These maps were printed on thin, banknote-style paper by Fielding Lucas and engraved by B.T. Welch. Also included are many fine lithographs of views along the route by Anthony Imbert, who Anthony Peters considers a "pioneer lithographer" of New York City. Also of note is the large, folding "Grand Canal Celebration" (39 x 8.5"), a "Geological Profile Extending from the Atlantic to Lake Erie" (55 x 7"), and eight plates depicting local horse drawn fire engines. The first half of the book consists of a detailed history of the canal including its planning and construction, while the second half pertains to the New York City Celebration. Quarto, hardbound in quarter calf with tips over marbled boards with gilt title on spine. A wonderful piece of Americana.

References: Howes #C-562; Sabin #14279; Peters (America on Stone) pp. 228-232.

Condition: B

The folding maps are good to very good with light offsetting. Text is mostly clean and bright but a little loose, and the plates have occasional scattered foxing. The covers are moderately worn and the spine is cracked. The front board has separated and is loosely repaired with tape along the hinge.

Estimate: $800 - $1,000

Sold for: $650

Closed on 11/14/2018