“Chicago.” New York: Charles Magnus, circa, 1860-1870. Lithographic transfer from engraved plate. 4 3/8 x 7 3/8. Uncolored.
Bird’s-eye views of North American cities became popular beginning around the mid-nineteenth century. These prints were originally issued in a large folio size, but publishers –such as Charles Magnus– soon realized that there was a good market for smaller versions. These octavo sized views were issued both as separate prints for framing and as illustrations at the head of sheets of stationary paper. These very detailed prints taken from steel engravings are fascinating and quite rare.