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[Italian town plan of St. Petersburg] Pianta della Citta di S.Peterburg. Italy, c. 1760, copper engraving, 155 x 185mm.
Antique map of St Petersburg, with an inset view of Cronslot island.
($387 • €356 rates)
[View of the Old Stock Exchange, St Petersburg] La Bourse. c.1840. Coloured lithograph. Printed area 245 x 340mm.
The Old Saint Petersburg Stock Exchange (also Bourse) and Rostra Columns are significant examples of Greek revival architecture. Designed by French architect Thomas de Thomon, and inspired by the Greek Temple of Hera at Paestum. The rostra columns erected on either side of the Stock Exchange were completed in 1811. The Old Stock Exchange is sited to fill the majestic sweep of the Spit (in Russian Strelka) of Vasilievsky Island, just opposite the Winter Palace. A monumental sculptural group similar in form to a quadriga featuring Neptune, and symbolizing maritime commerce, is mounted above the portico.
($839 • €770 rates)
[A satirical map on the Mississippi Bubble] Afbeeldinge Van't Zeer Vermaarde Eiland Geks-Kop. Amsterdam, 1720, 290 x 230mm. Trimmed close to neatline, bottom right corner repaired.
A map of the island of "Geks-Kop" (fools cap) from "Het Groote Tafereel Der Dwaasheid" (The Great Mirror Of Folly). The title translates as "A representation of the very famous island of Mad-head, lying in the sea of shares, discovered by Mr. Law-rens, and inhabited by a collection of all kinds of people, to whom are given the general name shareholders". At the center of the image is a map of an island depicted as the head of a Fool wearing his traditional cap; the place names include Blind Fort, Bubble River, and Mad House, surrounded by the islets of Poverty, Sorrow, and Despair. Around the map are scenes including a crowd stoning the headquarters of the Compagnie and a creditor fleeing his investors in a land-yacht. This satirical engraving of the Mississippi Bubble is one of the most famous cartographic curiosities. It represents the collapse of the French Compagnie de la Louisiane d'Occident, founded by the Scottish financier John Law in 1717, which was granted control of Louisiana. Its plans to exploit the resources of the region (the 'Mississippi Scheme') captured the popular imagination and people rushed to invest: share prices opened at 500 livres, but rapidly rose to 18,000 livres. At this point speculators indulged in profit-taking, causing a run on the shares. Confidence collapsed, causing a run on the company's capital and the company went bankrupt, ruining many, not only in France, but throughout Europe. As a consequence of this failure, confidence in many colonial schemes collapsed, forcing many companies into bankruptcy, including the English South Sea Company and a number in the Netherlands, prompting this satire.
($968 • €889 rates)
[C18th armillary sphere] The Artificial Sphere. London, c.1750. Coloured. 190 x 125mm.
An armillary sphere within an ornate border.
($116 • €107 rates)
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