October 03, 2020 09:00 AM EDT Asheville, North Carolina


A Rare Map of the Harbor of New York by Survey

1740-1780, manuscript map depicting the New York harbor, ink on laid paper, with heraldic watermark "GR", 14-1/4 x 11-5/8 in.; unframed

Note: This manuscript map is remarkably similar to a map engraved by John Carwitham about 1740 that was likely intended as one of the illustrations for a book on the history of America authored by William Byrd II of Westover, Charles City County, VA but never published.

It is possible that this manuscript map was drawn by John W. Sever (1766-1803), the brother of Capt. James Sever. Comparable handwriting appears in a letter from John to his brother James dated 1801 (included with lot 665). This handwriting is the same as in the manuscript map of Maine (lot 661) and the map of New Jersey and New York (lot 662) that also descended in the Sever family. The map of New Jersey and New York clearly dates to the time of the American Revolution. Both maps have similar lined borders, share some similar cursive characteristics, and the rivers and larger bodies of water were shaded, perhaps with graphite. Both maps were drawn on laid paper bearing watermarks consistent with paper used in America throughout the eighteenth century.

References: Cohen, Paul E. Manhattan in Maps1527-1995. 2014, pg 57, ill. 59

Click here to read about this important American maritime collection from the Sever family and to view additional items from this collection.

Provenance:Captain James N. Sever (1761-1845), Captain USS Congress; by descent in family


minor wear to edges, some creasing, toning, scattered staining throughout, some paper losses at compass rose area, small tear at top edge

Estimate: $3,000 - $5,000
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium

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