RATZER, Bernard Plan of the City of New York in North America, surveyed in the years 1766 & 1767. London: Jefferys and Faden, 'Jan.ry' 12, 1776.
Engraved plan of New York on four sheets, joined, overall 930 x 1200mm. The elaborate survey showing the southern end of Manhatten island, (as far north as 50th Street today), the marshy New Jersey shores of the Hudson, Kennedy, Bucking and Governors Islands, and parts of present day Brooklyn along the East River. Title set on lower left corner of map with decorative cartouche and list of references, one compass rose, inset scale bar, and dedication to Sir Henry Moore, Governor of New York. The map surmounting an engraved panoramic view of the city from Governors island, after a 1760 view by Captain Davies. (The map laid down on thick cloth, various cracks along old fold lines, thin paper sections onlaid over margins and a few folds.) Rolled.
'PERHAPS THE FINEST MAP OF AN AMERICAN CITY and its environs produced in the eighteenth century' (Augustyn). Ratzer's map developed from surveys of 1766 and 1767, the first engraved form was his "Ratzen" plan of the city itself published in 1769, engraved by Kitchen. By c.1770 the larger plan of the city and its environs had been finished and was published undated by Thomas Kitchin. The present copy, the second issue, was published by Jefferys and Faden, and although commercial publishers, it was rarely included in Faden's North American Atlas of 1777. Bernard Ratzer served in the British Army in the 60th or American regiment. His earliest known map is a manuscript chart of Passamquoddy Bay in Maine in 1756. Various other manuscript plans of forts followed, and he collaborated with Sauthier on his survey of New York, published in 1776. In 1769 Sir Henry Moore gave him the task of surveying the New York New Jersey border.
Despite the commercial nature of Faden and Jefferys, this New York plan had a limited circulation and certainly very few copies are seen on the market today. It ranks as one of the most attractive of all maps, one of the high points of the art of the military map maker. Cohen and Augustyn 'Manhattan in Maps' pp.73-77.