Lot 105: Map of Pennsylvania, By Cyrus Harris, Engraved by Amos Doolittle
Historic Autographs, Civil War Encased Postage Stamps, Colonial, Revolutionary War, Federal Era, Coins, Currency, Medals
December 10, 2016
Rancho Santa Fe, CA, USALive Auction
c. 1795 Amos Doolittle Engraved Map of Pennsylvania
c. 1795 Federal Period, Map of Pennsylvania, By Cyrus Harris, Engraved by Amos Doolittle, measuring 13.5" x 8", Very Fine.
An original, rare early Map of the State of Pennsylvania, "Drawn from the best authorities," by Cyrus Harris, Published by Thomas & Andrews, and Engraved by Amos Doolittle. Doolittle was an early American pioneer of metal-plate engraving, including maps, bookplates, Bible illustrations, etc. He has been incorrectly identified as the maker of the first historical plates in America, but he was actually beat out by Paul Revere, whose famous engraving of the Boston Massacre preceded Doolittle's work by roughly five years. The laid period paper has even overall tone with scattered spots of foxing, separated at three vertical folds which are reinforced on its blank verso with early archival style paper tape. This historically significant Amos Doolittle engraved Map of Pennsylvania is very collectible.
Amos Doolittle (1754-1832) is often refered to as "The Paul Revere of Connecticut" and is remembered as one of the earliest American historical engravers. His seminal prints record a turbulent time in America's history. Doolittle was born in Cheshire, CT and was an entirely self-taught engraver. In 1775, after serving an apprenticeship with a silversmith, he began a career as an engraver.
In the same year Doolittle joined the Revolutionary army and quickly found himself, under the command of Benedict Arnold, at the Battles of Lexington and Concord. In collaboration with fellow artist, Ralph Earle, Doolittle engraved the events of these two seminal battles of the Revolution, which are some of the earliest American historical prints. Doolittle was a prolific engraver, producing portraits, Bible illustrations, bookplates and caricatures.