|Exceptionally Rare and simply fantastic, 1770’s Hand Colored Vue d’Optique / "Peep-Show" Perspective Print / Optical Toy View. Offered here is a wonderful, Revolutionary War subject, lithographic "Peep Show" view of the City of Boston with American Troops see transporting an artillery piece on the street. Vue d’Optiques were shown in “peep boxes" during the second half of the 18th century. These devices were usually set up by traveling owners of such viewing devices in markets and squares throughout Europe. People could, for a certain amount of money, look into a peep box and view these perspective views through a magnifying lens which, at the same time, gave the viewer the impression of three dimensional perception. Well-to-do people bought such viewing machines for their families and began collecting the vue d'optique engravings showing them at home like slide show would be shown. While views of Europe were quite common, views of the American Colonies were (and are) quite rare and are highly sought after today by collectors.
This outstanding View d’Optique / Optical Toy Perspective View measures approx. 18” by 14” (including margins on all sides). The View is titled simply "Vue De Boston” (“View of Boston”) at the top and features text below the image that reads in German and French “Prospect des grossen Plazes gegen der Alten Sud Kirche der Presbiterianer zu Boston / Vue de la Rue grande vers l‘Eglise du Sud des Presbiteriennes a Boston” (translation “Prospect of the Great Plaza of the Presbyterian Church in Boston”).
The view was published in Augsburg, Germany by Francois Habermann. Although the View is not dated the depiction of the Revolutionary War Soldiers moving about the city leads us to estimate the date of publication to the late 1770’s. The scene shows the wide plaza before the entrance to the Presbyterian Church and the adjoining streets. Men and women populate the Plaza some gathered in small groups apparently discussing events of the war. Men are seen carrying large bundles of goods and a single “carter” pushes a wheelbarrow full of goods. The center of the main street is dominated by a team of 4 horses pulling a caisson with a rather large cannon attached. Soldiers are seen escorting the cannon.
This simply fantastic and exceptionally rare, 1770’s Peepshow Optical Toy View is in good to very good condition. The Image area is generally clean except for some spots of foxing in the area of the sky. The sheet has damage along the top edge affecting the margin area and the title. A single tear at the top does extend approx. ½” into the Image area. The original hand coloring is bright and vibrant. There is a large chip at the upper left hand corner (just touching the corner of the Image area) and a smaller chip at the lower left hand corner (affecting the margin only). There is some foxing as well as soiling in the margin areas including the title and text legend. The sheet is mounted onto a paperboard backing but neither the backing nor the adhesive have affected the print itself.
A VERY rare and simply wonderful, ca1776 Revolutionary War subject Vue d’Optique / "Peep-Show" Perspective Print / Optical Toy View and a fantastic addition to any collection!!!
A Bit about the History of this type of the Vue d’Optique:
The term “vue d'optique" or “perspective view" is used for describing a very special genre of antique print. Originating in England it became widely produced in Europe during the second half of the 18th century. Augsburg, Paris, Bassano and several other places became centers for the production of these interesting, fascinating engravings.
“Perspective views" are usually views of cities around the world (but also of other subject matters, historical, Biblical etc.). These were shown in “peep boxes" which in turn were usually set up by traveling owners of such viewing devices on markets throughout Europe. People could, for a certain amount of money, look into a peep box and view these perspective views through a magnifying lens which, at the same time, gave the viewer the impression of three dimensional perception. Well-to-do people bought such viewing machines for their families and began collecting the vue d'optique engravings showing them at home like slide show would be shown.
Perspective view prints were usually colored quite boldly before they were sold. They also have more or less the same format (size), because they had to fit the peep boxes. The title of a view was not always, but quite frequently printed in several languages and often repeated above the view in inverted writing (which was corrected by the lens for the viewer).
The value of perspective view prints rapidly increased, when modern day collectors discovered the genre and began to be interested in collecting the prints. Some large collections of prints and viewing devices have been sold in some of the big auction houses with great success.
Since perspective view prints were actually used almost daily by moving them in and out of viewing boxes, they often show some wear and tear, unless they were handled with much care by private possessors.
Overseasshippping is extra and cost will be quoted at bidders request. Massachusetts residents must add 6.25% sales tax.
Please check out other early and interesting items offered by this seller on ebay. Click Here to See Our Items We Have for Sale in the eBay Gallery and Click Here to Add Us To Your Favorite Sellers List.
Click Here to Discover More About this Item and Many Others on Our New Informational / Non-Commercial / Reference Blog - Walnutts.com.
Important Notes about Shipping Charges:
The amount quoted for Shipping & Handling is calculated by eBay and is equal to the EXACT amount charged by the Post Office plus a $1.00 "packing fee" - the $1.00 fee is our only compensation for the virgin packing materials we use on all of our professionally packaged boxes as well as our cost for the salaried help that does most of our packing - as I am sure you can see, we make NO profit on the Shipping charges and, in fact, our costs are usually greater than the $1.00 fee. Please contact us if there are any issues regarding the cost of shipping.