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Map, New York City, The Great Metropolis, Antique, Taintor Brothers, New York, 1867


New Map of the Great Metropolis, Including the Cities of New York, Brooklyn, Jersey City, Hoboken, &c.
Taintor Brothers, New York: c. 1867
Hand-colored wax engraving
22.5 x 17 inches, image to ruled border
23.75 x 18.5 inches, overall

The Great Metropolis — an impressive map of New York City —  centered on Manhattan Island from the Croton Reservoir south (92nd Street on the West Side and 105th Street on the East Side). The map also includes Astoria and Ravenswood in present-day Queens, much of Brooklyn, and Jersey City, Hoboken, Union Hill, North Weehawken and Hudson City across the Hudson River in New Jersey. Geographic information includes streets, squares, parks, ward numbers, railroads, ferry routes and numbered boat slips, many labeled with the names of shipping lines. Manhattan and Hudson City are tinted pink; parks, cemeteries, islands and the Brooklyn Navy Yard are tinted green. The map of Central Park shows the Olmstead and Vaux plan; park construction was completed five years later. The present site of the Central Park Zoo is labeled “Museum.” Footprints of institutional buildings on Blackwell’s Island (now known as Roosevelt Island) are labeled Lunatic Asylum, Work House, Alms House, Penitentiary and Hospital.

Product description continues below.


The map was published as a folding insert to Taintor’s Route and City Guides — City of New York (The City of New York. A Complete Guide, Taintor Brothers & Co., New York, 1867). This guide book includes descriptions of places of interest in Manhattan and a street directory, with numerous local advertisements. The map is easily removable from the guide for framing, without damaging either. There are other known editions of this map and guide around the same date, variously giving credit also to H.F. Walling.

Taintor Brothers was a New York City publisher of city, steamboat and railroad guidebooks. For the map portions, they worked with other companies, such as H.F. Walling (cartographer and publisher) and Fisk and Russell (engravers).  The firm was founded by Joseph Lord Taintor (1835-1881). After graduating from Yale University in 1860, he went into publishing with his uncle and brother in Connecticut. In 1866, he formed a copartnership with his younger brother Charles. The following year they began publishing a successful series of guidebooks in New York. In the 1870s the company expanded into schoolbook publishing. Joseph Lord Taintor retired in 1880 due to poor health and died the following year.

Full publication information: “Published by Taintor Brothers, 678 Broadway. Engraved for Walling’s New York City Guide.”

Condition: Generally very good with the usual overall light toning, wear, soft creases. Folds as issued, some with minor separations and additional toning along the fold lines and with minor openings at the fold intersections. Covers very good with light wear. Seller can have the map professionally flattened and backed with Japanese tissue for framing for an additional expense to the Purchaser of approximately $250.


“Obituary: Joseph Lord Taintor.” Publisher’s Weekly. No. 507. 1 October 1881. pp. 431-432. Online at Google Books: (16 May 2014).

Ristow, Walter W. American Maps and Mapmakers: Commercial Cartography in the Nineteenth Century. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1985. pp. 335 and 473.

Additional information


19th Century