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Sale 2512 Lot 69
FOLIE, A[NTOINNE] P[IERRE]. Plan of the Town of Baltimore and its Environs. Dedicated to the Citizens of Baltimore - Taken upon the Spot by Their Most Humble Servant A.P. Folie, French Geographer. Fine engraved city plan on watermarked laid paper. 23x25 1/2 inches sheet size, wide margins with deckle edges at top and bottom; old folds, light stain at lower right, small repair at middle-right margin; old framing label of Ferdinand Roten, Baltimore. Philadelphia, 1792
Estimate $7,000 - 10,000
The town of Baltimore experienced significant growth in the decades following the Revolutionary War and by the turn of the eighteenth-century it was the nation's third largest city, expanding wharves and waterfront landfill into its harbor. In this separately printed plan of the city from that period of central development we see the main parts of the established layout with points of interest keyed to a 26-letter legend in the upper right: meeting houses, churches, markets, the bank, jail, and playhouse are a few of the public buildings referenced. The thriving harbor is choked with commercial vessels while the lands surrounding the town are largely an unsettled wilderness ripe for expansion; a road to Philadelphia appears to the north, and a road to Annapolis leads away to the south. Early planners of the town had established limits for how far the contemporary growth could increase, noting a line in the Inner Harbor Basin "determined by the port wardens beyond which improvements shall not extend".
The map was drafted by A.P. Folie and engraved by James Poupard of Philadelphia. It is a handsome collaboration, with obvious focus on the promotion of commercial activity and expansion in Baltimore in 1792. The plan is a true American scarcity, with only a handful of institutional copies known and no appearances in auction records or dealer's catalogs. Wheat & Brun 522, second state; American Historical Prints B-131, plate 29a; Tooley, North American City Plans 103; Deak 192.