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Exceptional, rare lithographed view of Paris during the 1878 Exposition Universelle, also known as the first Paris World Fair. Printed using the finest techniques of late-nineteenth-century lithography, this view of the Champs de Mars and the Trocadero was published by Testu and Massin following the plans by Erhard.

The work looks westwards past the Exposition towards the Bois de Boulogne and the Mont Valerien. The massive display stands on the Champ de Mars would have hosted all of the world's newest inventions, and the number of smokestacks seen throughout the image represents Paris's might as an industrial city. Above the Seine floats a hot air balloon. Below the image, a key locates place names in the panorama.

The language used in the text below the map suggests that this was published prior to the fair, as it is based on the "official plans for construction."

The 1878 World's Fair

At the fair, the buildings and the fairgrounds were somewhat unfinished on opening day, as political complications had prevented the French government from paying much attention to the exhibition until six months before it was due to open. However, efforts made in April were prodigious, and by June 1, a month after the formal opening, the exhibition was finally completed.

This exposition was on a far larger scale than any previously held anywhere in the world. It covered over 66 acres, the main building in the Champ de Mars and the hill of Chaillot, occupying 54 acres. The Gare du Champ de Mars was rebuilt with four tracks to receive rail traffic occasioned by the exposition. The Pont d'Iéna linked the two exhibition sites along the central allée. The French exhibits filled one-half of the entire space, with the remaining exhibition space divided among the other nations of the world.   

Over 13 million people paid to attend the exposition, making it a financial success. The total number of persons who visited Paris during the time the exhibition was open was 571,792.


OCLC notes two institutional examples, at the British Library and at the BNF. We find no records of copies having traded per RBH or other means.

Condition Description
Five- (six?) stone lithograph. Even toning and minor foxing. Minor tape stains in four locations in the margin, away from the image. Minor cracking to right of image.