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Auction archive: Lot number 1074

PELHAM’S 1777 MAP OF BOSTON.

Estimate
US$50,000 - US$80,000
Price realised:
n. a.
Auction archive: Lot number 1074

PELHAM’S 1777 MAP OF BOSTON.

Estimate
US$50,000 - US$80,000
Price realised:
n. a.
Beschreibung:

Upper sheet of Henry Pelham’s extremely rare map of Boston executed 1775-1776 and published in 1777. A dozen or fewer examples this important map are recorded. Titled at top center: “A Plan of Boston in New England with its Environs, Including Milton, Dorchester, Roxbury, Brooklin, Cambridge, Medford, Charlestown, Parts of Malden, and Chelsea. With the Military Works Constructed in those Places in the Years 1775. and 1776. Loyalist Henry Pelham (1749-1806) was son of Peter Pelham an artist in mezzotint, and half-brother to John Singleton Copley Pelham received permission from General Gage to make the map, and included a facsimile of the pass given him by the Town Major on 28 August 1775 to plot the geography and, "to take a plan of Boston & Charlestown and of the Rebel works round those places." Pelham uses a mapmaker’s compass as a paperweight in the facsimile, guaranteeing his skill and accuracy as a cartographer. Pelham’s business as a painter in Boston had ceased and in July 1775 was surveying Charlestown with the permission of Gage and Howe and provided with a guard, with the ultimate goal of sending his work to London for publication. He seems to have been thinking both of a battle scene (Bunker Hill) and a picture of the ruins of Charlestown with the British camps subsequently erected on the peninsula. In August Gage put a stop to that idea lest a “plan” of the area give the Americans knowledge of the British works, but supported his broader cartographic efforts as the 28 August 1775 pass from Town Major Urquhart illustrates. He was still working on it in the new year as the caption “new works 1776” in one spot illustrates. Pelham joined the evacuation of Boston in March 1776, landing first in Nova Scotia and then London, where he was finally able to publish through engraver Francis Jukes on June 2, 1777. Dedicating the map "To the Right Honourable Lord George Germain, One of his Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State," some of the maps included the artist’s signature at bottom. As well as recording the fortifications erected in and around Boston in 1775 and 1776, Pelham includes the Shawmut Peninsula Charlestown, Cambridge, Brookline, Roxbury, Dorchester and parts of other towns, with street plans of Boston, Charlestown and Cambridge and included a key to locations in Boston at the bottom of the map. “Topographically accurate and handsomely executed” in one critic’s words, the map benefits from Jukes’s use of aquatint, making possible a wide range of tonal variation and degrees of darkness, imparting texture and depth complimenting the line engraving. CONDITION: Very good, especially for a wall map of the period. Minor stains on the borders. Remnants of a tape repair at lower right edge, some wear at top center perhaps from tacks, but the holes are not obvious. Interestingly, in the facsimile pass, the word “Rebel” in line 5 has been rubbed out, likely regarded as disparaging by an American owner.

Auction archive: Lot number 1074
Auction:
Datum:
17 May 2022
Auction house:
Morphy Auctions

Denver PA 17517
United States
[email protected]
+1 (0)877 968-8880
+1 (0)717 336-7115
Beschreibung:

Upper sheet of Henry Pelham’s extremely rare map of Boston executed 1775-1776 and published in 1777. A dozen or fewer examples this important map are recorded. Titled at top center: “A Plan of Boston in New England with its Environs, Including Milton, Dorchester, Roxbury, Brooklin, Cambridge, Medford, Charlestown, Parts of Malden, and Chelsea. With the Military Works Constructed in those Places in the Years 1775. and 1776. Loyalist Henry Pelham (1749-1806) was son of Peter Pelham an artist in mezzotint, and half-brother to John Singleton Copley Pelham received permission from General Gage to make the map, and included a facsimile of the pass given him by the Town Major on 28 August 1775 to plot the geography and, "to take a plan of Boston & Charlestown and of the Rebel works round those places." Pelham uses a mapmaker’s compass as a paperweight in the facsimile, guaranteeing his skill and accuracy as a cartographer. Pelham’s business as a painter in Boston had ceased and in July 1775 was surveying Charlestown with the permission of Gage and Howe and provided with a guard, with the ultimate goal of sending his work to London for publication. He seems to have been thinking both of a battle scene (Bunker Hill) and a picture of the ruins of Charlestown with the British camps subsequently erected on the peninsula. In August Gage put a stop to that idea lest a “plan” of the area give the Americans knowledge of the British works, but supported his broader cartographic efforts as the 28 August 1775 pass from Town Major Urquhart illustrates. He was still working on it in the new year as the caption “new works 1776” in one spot illustrates. Pelham joined the evacuation of Boston in March 1776, landing first in Nova Scotia and then London, where he was finally able to publish through engraver Francis Jukes on June 2, 1777. Dedicating the map "To the Right Honourable Lord George Germain, One of his Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State," some of the maps included the artist’s signature at bottom. As well as recording the fortifications erected in and around Boston in 1775 and 1776, Pelham includes the Shawmut Peninsula Charlestown, Cambridge, Brookline, Roxbury, Dorchester and parts of other towns, with street plans of Boston, Charlestown and Cambridge and included a key to locations in Boston at the bottom of the map. “Topographically accurate and handsomely executed” in one critic’s words, the map benefits from Jukes’s use of aquatint, making possible a wide range of tonal variation and degrees of darkness, imparting texture and depth complimenting the line engraving. CONDITION: Very good, especially for a wall map of the period. Minor stains on the borders. Remnants of a tape repair at lower right edge, some wear at top center perhaps from tacks, but the holes are not obvious. Interestingly, in the facsimile pass, the word “Rebel” in line 5 has been rubbed out, likely regarded as disparaging by an American owner.

Auction archive: Lot number 1074
Auction:
Datum:
17 May 2022
Auction house:
Morphy Auctions

Denver PA 17517
United States
[email protected]
+1 (0)877 968-8880
+1 (0)717 336-7115
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