Views of New York
G.M. Bourne, 1831
[BOURNE, George Melksham (1806-1887). Views of New York. New York: Disturnell, 1831.]

Very rare, nearly complete first issue set of the earliest extensive series to depict urban daily life New York. "The set of engravings that George Melksham Bourne issued from his shop on Broadway near Franklin Street in 1831 is generally considered to be the most beautifully executed sequence of small New York City views. Here are depicted Manhattan's public and private buildings, wharves, marketplaces, banks, churches, hotels, streets, coaches, theater, harbor, ferries, people, and fashions in a fascinating kaleidoscope of early 19th century urban life" (Deák). The present set is complete except for the so-called frontispiece and pl. 19 (same as the NYPL set according to Deák). This set also has a duplicate of pl. 16 and an extra plate "Broadway, near Franklin Street," without Bourne's imprint but lettered in pencil "proof". The first issue is determined by the presence of Bourne's imprint and copyright notice; this was removed for the later, Disturnell printings.

18 sheets of engraved views, each sheet with two views except plate 16; i.e. 35 views in all. Views typically measure about 90 x 70mm each. Plate 16 is the larger "New York from Weehawk" after the painting of William G. Wall and is present in two Bourne issues. The engravings are printed on india paper and mounted later in the 19th century to 282 x 220mm. There is additionally the extra plate referenced above and a set of the Disturnell issue of this series, plus a few other duplicate, later issues for a total of 42 sheets of engravings. (Extra plate foxed and on worn mount, a scattered few spots, duplicate plates in variable condition). Stored in a loose-leaf binder (c.1930s, spotted). Custom cloth chemise and quarter morocco slipcase. Provenance: Noel Bleecker Fox, 1878-1972 (his bibliographical notes and correspondence also tucked into binder).

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