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1861 Schaus Bird's Eye View Map of Virginia, Delaware, and North Carolina (Seat of War)


1861 Schaus Bird's Eye View Map of Virginia, Delaware, and North Carolina (Seat of War)


Rare view of the of Seat of the Civil War around Washington D.C. and the Chesapeake Bay.



Seat of War. Bird's Eye View of Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and the District of Columbia.
  1861 (undated)     22.25 x 29.75 in (56.515 x 75.565 cm)


This is a highly unusual and uncommon map or bird's eye view of the seat of the American Civil War in Virginia, Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina, and the District of Columbia. Issued in New York, Paris, and France to address the national and international fascination with the ongoing events of the American Civil War. Shows the contested territories around Richmond and Washington D.C. where most of the bloodiest Civil War battles were fought. Offers astounding detail throughout showing towns, cities, river ways, and extensive topographical detail. Numerous steam powered ships are shown plying the waters of the Chesapeake Bay, the Delaware Bay, the Atlantic Ocean, and this region's numerous navigable rivers. Drawn and copyrighted by W. Schaus of 629 Broadway, New York. Published in three stone lithograph format in 1861 by the New York firm of Sarony, Major & Knapp.


William Schaus (fl. c. 1857 - 1870) was printmaker active in New York City in the middle part of the 19th century. Schaus began his career in Paris with the established "Goupil, Vibert & Company". Around 1857 he was sent to New York to establish an American branch of the French firm as well as to set up an International Art Union to compete with the powerful American Art Union. Schaus, with his considerable experience and support from abroad, was able to lure several important artists away from the American Art Union. This helped him to develop an impressive portfolio of artists and prints. In the early 1860 Schaus split with Goupil Vilbert & Co. to establish his own offices at 629 Broadway, in New York City. There he continued to produce a varied corpus of works that included maps, views, art prints, and illustrations.

Napoleon Sarony (March 9, 1821 - November 9, 1896) was a dashingly handsome Canadian-American lithographer and publisher active in New York in the mid to late 19th century. Sarony was born in Quebec and emigrated to New York City in 1835. He apprenticed under Henry Robinson (fl. 1830/33 - 1850) before working as a lithograph artist for Nathaniel Currier (1813 - 1888). In 1846, he partnered with Currier's apprentice lithographer Henry B. Major to establish the firm of 'Sarony and Major.' From offices at 117 Futon Street, they published under this imprint until roughly 1853, when Sarony split off on his own under the imprint 'Sarony and Co.', still at 117 Fulton. At the time 'and Co.' probably meant Joseph Fairchild Knapp (1832 - 1891), Sarony's apprentice, and Richard C. Major, possibly Henry Major's son. In 1857, a new imprint was established as 'Sarony, Major and Knapp'. According to an advertisement in the New York Times (Feb 16, 1864), Sarony had invested in the business at founding, but was not an active partner, possibly because he was traveling in Europe. It is unclear why Sarony's name was maintained, possibly to capitalize on his fame, as a honorific, or possibly because he owned a major stake. They published under this imprint until 1863, becoming a major concern at 449 Broadway. Sarony's name was formally removed from the partnership in 1863. At the time he was traveling in Europe, mastering the most advanced color lithography and photographic techniques. He is known to have worked in France, Germany, and England. He returned to New York in the 1860s, establishing a photography company at 37 Union Square that became famous for its portraits of late-19th-century American theater icons. In 1891, Sarony, hoping to capitalize on Sarah Bernhardt's fame as 'Cleopatra', paid the stage actress 1,500 USD to sit for a photo session, the modern-day equivalent of 20,000 USD - suggesting a highly prosperous business. His son, Otto Sarony (1850–1903), continued the family business as a theater and film star photographer. As an aside, Sarony's second wife, Louie Sarony, was a known eccentric who would reportedly dress in elaborate rented costumes to walk around Washington Square each afternoon.


Good. Minor creasing on original folds and in lower right quadrant. Closed repair from right side extending through margins and slightly into map. Margin repair, left side. Edge wear. On extremely thick stock.


Library of Congress, Map Division, G3709.31.A35 1861 .S32 CW 17.35.