Published: June 28, 2022
NEW YORK CITY — A rare bound collection of six spectacular, large-scale topographic vistas by Nineteenth Century America’s most successful viewmaker, John Bachmann Sr (1814-1896), more than doubled its high estimate to sell for $35,000, including buyer’s premium, at Swann Auction Galleries’ sale of maps and atlases, natural history and color plate books on June 23.
“Panorama of the Seat of War” comprised a portfolio of six double-page chromolithographed panoramic perspective maps of Confederate states. Included were bird’s-eye views of Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and the District of Columbia; North and South Carolina and part of Georgia; Florida and part of Georgia and Alabama; Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and part of Florida; Kentucky and Tennessee (showing Cairo and part of the Southern states); and Texas and part of Mexico.
Bachmann was a Swiss-born lithographer and artist best known for his bird’s-eye views, and the panoramic map became a popular and effective technique for conveying information about the Civil War. Early in 1861, Bachmann of New York City conceived the idea of producing a series of bird’s-eye views of the likely theaters of war. These visually attractive panoramas were easily understood and perhaps more meaningful to a public largely unskilled in map reading. Watch for a further review of this sale.
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