January 2014 | Rebecca Rego Barry

Historic Sewers of Manhattan

At auction this week a rare lithographed map of New York City's early sewer system. Potty humor aside, the Sanitary and Topographical Map of the City and Island of New York, 1865, is an important map, included in Stokes' Iconography of Manhattan Island. It depicts original land and water sources, as well as reservoirs, landfill, piers, and streets. The hand-coloration shows marsh (pale blue), made land (yellow), and meadow (white), with sewers denoted by a black lines that run along the roads.

146593_0.jpgAccording to PBA Galleries, which will sell this map on Thursday, the map is "fragile" and "seldom found in reasonable condition." Only seven institutional copies are listed in OCLC/WorldCat. The estimate for this one, even with two small center holes, is $6,000-9,000.

Image via PBA Galleries.
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