New York: George M. Bourne, 1831. First printing. A set of the first extensive series of New York street views to be published, issued by the engraver George M. Bourne, and based on originals by Charles Burton, James Smillie and William Guy Wall. This is the first attempt at recording the day to day life in New York City and interestingly, the images are about the size of stereoscopic views, which became so popular some 20 years later.
This first issue of the Bourne plates can be distinguished by Bourne's imprint and copyright notice, which are removed from later issues of plates published by Disturnell. A total of thirty five engravings of New York views printed on 18 numbered (except for Pl. 16, which is numbered by hand) of 19. Plate 19 is apparently missing. OCLC 40707736 records 3 copies only but with 19 plates. Small 8vo pages, images approx. 5 3/4 x 3 3/4" (or half that size) on paper 4 3/4 x 7 1/2".
With many views engraved by James Smillie, known for his exquisite "bank note" engraving. The views are titled as follows: Plate 1st: City Hotel [with] Grace & Trinity Churches; Plate 2d: Bowling Green [with] Landing Place, Foot of Courtlandt St.; Plate 3d: Masonic Hall, Broadway [with] Landing Place, Foot of Barclay St.; Plate 4th: Park Place [with] American Hotel, Broadway; Plate 5th: Mansion House, (Bunker's), Broadway [with] Steam Boat Wharf, Battery Place; Plate 6th: St. Thomas' Church [with] Park Theatre & Part of Park Row; Plate 7th: Bowery Theatre [with] Washington Hotel, Broadway; Plate 8th: Junction of Broadway & The Bowery [with] Bay & harbour of New York; Plate 9th: Council Chamber, City Hall [with] Public Room, Merchant's Exchange; Plate 10th: St. Paul's Church, Broadway [with] Merchant's Exchange, Wall St.; Plate 11th: Phenix Bank, Wall St. [with] United States' Branch Bank; Plate 12th: Brooklyn Ferry, Fulton St. [with] Steam Boat Wharf, Whitehall Street; Plate 13th: Custom House, Wall St. [with] Unitarian Church, Mercer St.; Plate 14th: St. George's Church, Beekman St. [with] Clinton Hall, Beekman St.; Plate 15th: Church of the Ascension, Canal St. [with] Exchange Place Looking to Hanover St.; Plate : New York, from Weehawk; Plate 17th: St. Luke's Church, Hudson St. [with] The Reservoir, Bowery; Plate 18th: St. Patrick's Cathedral, Mott St. [with] St. Peter's Church, Barclay St. Other engravers include Archer, Gimber and Fossette.
With the Parke-Bernet Galleries auction catalog titled 'Color Plate Books Art Reference Bindings, September 17, 1968 showing the catalog entry #102 describing the item, as well as a photocopy of the original bill of sale, and the original Parke-Bernet manila envelope in which the engravings were held. The catalog description reads, "After drawings by C. Burton. " ... The drawings were made for George Melksham Bourne, who issued a series of New York Views in 1831, the engravings being executed by J. Smillie, Archer, Gimber, Fossette, and others... Stokes, Iconography, vol. 3, pp. 594 - 97. comments that " No complete set is known to exist..." Presumed written before a complete set was located. Very good condition. Item #17890