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A VIEW OF THE HARBOUR AND CITY OF THE HAVANA, TAKEN FROM JESU DEL MONTE
London: John Bowles [et al], [1768].. Engraved view (14 1/2 x 22 1/2 inches), matted (20 x 26 1/2 inches). Plate with mild age toning, but a generally very good, clean impression with slight instances of foxing at margins of sheet (not affecting image). A rare mid-18th-century view of Havana and the surrounding landscape and seascape, one of a set of six engraved views of Cuba from the famous SCENOGRAPHIA AMERICANA. All of these Cuban views were executed by Elias Durnford, an engineer with the British expedition which seized Havana from the Spanish in 1762. The British remained in control for over a year before returning the city to Spain in the Peace of 1763 in exchange for the Floridas. Durnford's views are some of the finest produced of any of the Caribbean islands in the 18th century. The present engraving provides a good view of Havana from the land side, with an expansive pastoral view of fields and palm trees extending to the harbor. Several ships are seen in the harbor itself, with additional lands and the sea beyond in the distance. The SCENOGRAPHIA AMERICANA was the brainchild of Thomas Pownall, who served as governor of several British provinces in North America and was himself a capable topographical artist. He commissioned, and in several cases personally drew, scenes in British North America from Quebec to the Caribbean. The views are generally found individually in the marketplace, and the set is best known for the famous Howdell views of New York and the Boston and Charleston panoramas. Originally issued in parts, followed by a single volume with twenty-eight plates, only a few complete sets of the SCENOGRAPHIA AMERICANA exist. The Cuba views, which are among the rarest, were originally issued in a fascicle of six. The present plate provides one of the finest 18th- century views of Havana. SABIN 77467. HOWES S140. DEÁK, PICTURING AMERICA 106 (for list of the plates in SCENOGRAPHIA AMERICANA).
      [Bookseller: William Reese Company - Americana]
Last Found On: 2015-06-09           Check availability:      Biblio    

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