Vue de Salem. [subtitle:] Eine Stadt im Engellaendischen America, in der Grafschafft Essex.... [Title repeated in French.]
Augsburg: Grave par Balth. Frederic Leizelt, Ca. late 1770s. Printed area: 12 x 15 5/8. Very good. Item #3743
This is one of a series of engravings of Boston, New York, and a few other important American cities done as perspective views or "vues d'optique" around the time of the American Revolution. They were viewed with an "optical machine" (or "zograscope") that used a mirror and magnifying lens to approximate a three-dimensional image. The main title, "Vue de Salem," is printed as a mirror image; when viewed through the optical machine, it would appear correctly.
These views were often fanciful and the exact location depicted here is not readily identifiable. Accuracy aside, this is a wonderful view of what a European artist thought Salem looked like during the American Revolution. The caption below the view notes that Salem has two harbors -- one for the summer and one for the winter.
Reference: Cresswell, The American Revolution in Drawings and Prints: 481.