1829 D.H. Burr Manhattan Map

Value (2007) | $4,000 Auction$6,000 Auction

This is a map of Manhattan. I bought it at auction about five years ago.

Well, it is, as we see, a very typical map of New York City, of the period. With a fine engraved cartouche. And its mapmaker is David Burr, who did a number of atlases of New York State and he sold individual maps and atlases, from which maps were taken out. I believe that this map would have been available as a single-sheet piece, instead of being only offered in a book. The other thing we can see is that it's got very good contemporary color-- "contemporary" meaning that the coloring in watercolor was done contemporaneously with the date of publication. Here we see the date, January 1829. It really has been very well kept. The colors are fresh. You frequently lose these pinks and mauves over time, indicating that this has been kept in a dark environment. And it's a veritable illustration of the development of Manhattan Island, from its earliest beginnings down Wall Street area, and then moving up, we see for example that the Central Park is not noted, and that these uplands here, up north, are undeveloped. We also have areas around here, marked "English Neighborhood," and Hudson's River, as you see, has its other name. It was known as the North River. And were you actually captured by the idea of owning a map as decoration?

I knew that I had some space on a wall for something, and when I saw the map I said, "That will fit." I had no plans to purchase a map or a painting or really anything that day, but I knew this would fit in my house.

How much did you pay for it then?

I believe that I paid around $150 for it.

Well, there's a general interest in maps, but there's been a large increase in interest in city maps. And that interest has been on the increase in the last five to ten years and I think as a result of this growth of interest, a fine example like this would be estimated at auction at between $4,000 and $6,000.

Wow, great. Thank you very much.

Well, thanks for coming by.

Appraisal Details

Appraised value (2007)
$4,000 Auction$6,000 Auction
Baltimore, MD (June 16, 2007)

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