(NEW YORK CITY.) William Birch; and Samuel Seymour. The City of New York in the State of New York, North America. Hand-colored engraved view of lower Manhattan on "Portal & Bridges / 8" watermarked laid paper. 22x27 inches sheet size; cleaned and restored, upper margin replaced. Springland, near Bristol, PA, Jany. 1, 1803
Turn of the nineteenth-century lower Manhattan observed across the East River from a small wooden dock on Brooklyn Heights - here in its first state, an utmost rarity, with the White Horse.
The plate was revised several months after this issue was printed with little, if any, modification to the cityscape; several trees are added to the foreground composition and the dock becomes obscured by two bank-side bushes. But most notably the brilliant white horse quietly grazing under the ancient tree is re-engraved in favor of the more commonly seen picnic party. A third state of the plate was issued circa 1820, unchanged, but with the imprint of Henry H. Morgan at the lower center.
Apart from his own example (at the New York Public Library), I.N. Phelps Stokes cited "Two other copies, only, of this print are known, one belonging to Robert Goelet, Esq., and one, slightly imperfect, from the Lossing Collection, sold by Anderson in 1912, and now belonging to Edward W.C. Arnold, Esq." Stokes, Iconography, v. I, page 486 (plate 76); Deak, Picturing America 245.
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