Fine example of the earliest obtainable city plan of Warsaw, engraved by Chalmandrier for Giovanni Antonio Rizzi Zannoni in 1772.
Rizzi Zannoni's plan is based upon the 4-sheet plan of Warsaw by Pierre Ricaud de Tirregaille, entitled Plan de la ville de Varsovie: dedie a S. M. Auguste III Roi de Pologne, Electeur de Saxe etc. etc., levé par ordre de S. E. M. le Comte Bielinski Grand Marechal de la Couronne, first published in 1762.
Rizzi Zannoni's plan of Warsaw was published on the eve of the country's first partition (dismemberment) between Prussia, Russia and Austria. The town plan is surrounded by 17 vignettes of important buildings (actually 14 palaces and 3 others), with the lower section featuring a fine large panoramic view of the City taken from the east side of the Wisla, which is entitled " Vue de Varsovie du côté de la Vistule". A numbered key identifies 82 important landmarks. The title cartouche is surmounted by a coat of arms and white eagle, with a dedication to Count Michal Wielhorski, who was then in Paris making a last ditch effort to preserve Poland's "Republic."
One very curious element to this example of the map is the use of a modified version of the Kierdeja coat of arms, used by several Polish families, including the Wielhorski family.
Pierre Ricaud de Tirregaille (1725-1770) was a French Architect and Engineer. Tirregaille came to Poland in 1752, where he worked as a civil architect, surveyor and as an army engineer and captain of an infantry regiment. He attained the rank of lieutenant colonel in the Polish armed forces in 1762. In 1758 and 1759, Tirregaille worked for the "Komisja Brukowa" or Cobblestone Commission. Created in 1685, the Cobblestone Commission was tasked with paving the streets of Warsaw and creating a modern sewer system. The Commission remained largely inactive until 1740, when it was headed by Crown Marshal Franciszek Bielinski. Under his leadership, over the next 20 years, the commission managed to pave 222 streets, a large majority of the streets of the contemporary Polish capital. In 1757, Bielinski, with his own funds, created the village of Bielino, which would become the modern city center of Warsaw. In 1762, with his work nearly completed, Bielinski commissioned Tirregaille to prepare a detailed plan of the city of Warsaw, which resulted in the creation of the first map of Warsaw based upon a scientific survey. The view was embellished with vignettes of important buildings around the city, including, the Primate's Palace, the Symonowicz Palace, the palace of the Bishops of Cracow and the Radziwill Palace. Tirregaille's plan depicts the culmination of Bielinski's efforts.
Unlike the Tirregaille plan (dedicated to King August III), Rizzi Zannoni's plan is dedicated to Count Michal Wielhorski (1730 - 1794), a Polish noble, official, politician, diplomat and writer. He was the Lithuanian "Grande Maitre d'Hotel" (Master of the Kitchen) in the years 1763-1774, Lithuanian Great Quartermaster in 1758-1762, who served as the starost and envoy of the Bar Confederation to France up to the First Partition. Count Wielhorski traveled to Paris in 1770, where he consulted with both Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Gabriel Bonnot de Mably, to submit suggestions for the reformation of Poland's unique "Golden Liberty", which had deteriorated from a semi-republican, semi-democratic political system, into a state of virtual anarchy. This map was prepared during Wielhorski's stay in Paris and undoubtedly reflects the prevailing French Enlightenment sympathies toward Poland's efforts to preserve its independent republic status.
Mably's recommendations were completed in two installments, the first in August 1770 and the second in July 1771. Generally, he called for more radical and substantial changes than Rousseau and he was also able to finish his recommendations in a more timely fashion than Rousseau. Rousseau completed his essay in 1772. By the time he finished, the First Partition of Poland had already occurred. On February 17, 1772, Russia, Prussia and Austria had invaded and occupied much of Poland.
The original Tirregaille plan is known in only 4 recorded examples, with the original manuscript having been destroyed in 1944. This edition is also quite scarce, with no examples appearing in AMPR or Americana Exchange.