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Bird's Eye View of New Orleans
1851-1859 (?) - Very rare and early Bird's Eye View map of New Orleans, Louisiana. Shows the city in minute detail with the bending Mississippi River in foreground crowded with steamboats. The outstanding reference on city view maps of the United States (John W. Reps; Views and Viewmakers of Urban America 1825-1925) indicates that the original map here offered is the map drawn and lithographed by Thomas Muller in New Orleans sometime in the 1850's. There are two circa 1850's bird's eye view maps of New Orleans, one of which was drawn and lithographed by J. Bachmann. That map is rare in the original state but has been reproduced in modern times. The Muller map is very similar in appearance to the Bachmann map, but the river traffic of steamboats and sailing vessels is notably different from the Bachman version. Our map, which is number 1160 in Reps, does not appear to have ever been reproduced commercially. There is no doubt this is the Muller map, but the artist and publisher info that would have been present in the lower margin is missing because a previous owner cut down the map for framing. So although the essential elements of the map such as Jackson Square, the French Quarter, the business and garden districts, etc etc are present, there are some missing portions especially at one side and at lower edge. There is a photo of the map (a colorized version) available online at the Mariner's Musuem of Newport News (search using keyword Muller) and it shows that this map was titled "Nouvelle Orleans -- Nueva Orleans." Comparing the Maritime Museum copy with this copy shows that the left side of our map (not the French Quarter side) is the side that was cropped. The dimensions of this copy under the matting were recorded by a previous owner as being 16 by 20 inches. The size of the viewable image as matted is approximately 15 1/4 inches by 19 7/8 inches. The map in its original dimensions would have been 17 7/8 by 24 1/2 inches. There are a few closed tears on the map which are not particularly evident except under close examination. But there are some closed tears at the upper right portion of the sky that are more evident on first viewing, and there is also a tide line of an old damping stain in the clouds near the right side. Still, a quite attractive bird's eye view map as framed. Early bird's eye view maps of American scenes are uniformly desirable, and Reps shows only five holdings of this particular map in United States institutions (Chicago Historical Society, Historic New Orleans Collection, Mariner's Museum of Newport News, Tulane University in New Orleans, and the Louisiana State Museum in New Orleans. Library of Congress reportedly has a facsimile example. However, a search of Tulane, Historic New Orleans Collection and LOC did not locate their supposed copies of the map. This map, because of its desirability and rarity, would be worth several thousands of dollars if it was in better condition and uncropped. Our copy priced accordingly. It is nicely toned with age as appropriate for an antique map. Of current interest because of the hurricane Katrina catastrophe. This map shows that there were industrial canals heading into the city from Lake Pontchartrain even in the 1850's, and one of those shown on this map was probably the very one which gave way during Katrina and flooded many sections of the city. This map was professionally matted and framed and will be shipped in its frame. Under plexiglass for better protection of the map. Size: Image Size 16 x 20 Inches [Attributes: Soft Cover]
      [Bookseller: Daryl Rule, bookseller]
Last Found On: 2014-10-10           Check availability:      IberLibro    

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