Daniel Crouch Rare Books Will Show Monumental City Maps at the Winter Antiques Show

Daniel Crouch Rare Books will bring maps of three of the most exciting cities in the world to the Winter Antique Show, which runs from 19 – 28 January in New York’s Park Avenue Armory.

Visitors to the Winter Antiques show will be awestruck by the unmissable display of George and Walter Bromley’s ‘Atlas of the City of New York – Borough of Manhattan’ from 1908: a strikingly pink 25’ (yes, 25’!) wide fire insurance map in 38 individually framed sheets (pictured).

The map is not only a fascinating and important document from the end of ‘the gilded age’, but also demonstrates how maps can be displayed in interior spaces to make bold and arresting design statements. The map includes outlines of buildings, street names, sidewalk widths, number of stories, basements and natural features such as rivers. It also shows the composition of buildings by listing materials such as brick, stone, iron and wood in their descriptions. Daniel Crouch Rare Books explains the importance these maps have as invaluable resources for historical research, genealogy, planning, conservation and demography ($250,000).

Visitors will also be delighted by Bernard Ratzer’s 1776 ‘Plan of New York’, showing the southern end of Manhattan island. There were about 25,000 people living in the city at this time and you can see the countryside shown in the surrounding marshy areas of New Jersey and parts of (present day) Brooklyn along the East River. The map is a significant improvement of Ratzer’s own 1769 plan, which the gallery will also display at the fair. Notable for its accuracy, his later map gives street names, roads, buildings and the names of chief property owners (the maps are priced at $275,000 and $50,000 respectively).

Back across the Atlantic, another fire insurance map on the gallery’s stand is Richard Horwood’s spectacular 1799 map of London. This is the largest printed map in Georgian Britain and charts the entire city of London, Westminster and Borough of Southwark. It was produced for use as an aid for the Phoenix Fire Office, an English fire insurance company for whom it is understood Horwood worked. The plan, nearly ten years in the making, demonstrates incredible levels of detail, showing the parts of the city that had yet to be developed and notably includes house numbers, which had only started being used in 1735 ($55,000).

The Paris offering is Michel-Étienne Turgot’s ‘Plan de Paris’ (1739) depicting a birds-eye-view of the French city during the reign of Louis XV. Turgot was the Mayor of Paris from 1690-1751 and aimed to promote the city’s reputation through the creation of a comprehensive city plan. It took two years to complete, and once published, prints were offered to the King and other important officials ($27,000).