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The Best Bird's-Eye View of Nantucket.

Beautiful lithograph bird's-eye view looking southwest over Nantucket, Massachusetts, published by the master viewmaker J.J. Stoner in 1881.

The numerous wharves of the inner harbor hint at Nantucket's days as one of the foremost whaling ports in the world, however, by 1881 that industry had long since faded. Whaling had been replaced by tourism as Nantucket's primary industry, and this view does much to underline that fact: the view shows a swimming pier in the harbor along with plenty of small pleasure craft, a large swimming beach in the lower right corner overflowing with patrons, and a baseball game being played.

A total of 36 buildings are noted in a key below the image, among these are a series of eight "Houses" (the town's early hotels) with their proprietors listed. Four of these houses (Ocean House, Sherburne House, Springfield House, and Ocean View House, Sconset Beach) are illustrated in inset views at the bottom of the sheet. Miacomet Pond, Hummock Pond, the Prospect Hill, Friends', and North Cemeteries are also identified.

In the upper right corner is an inset view of Siasconset and the Sankaty Head Light House.

J.J. Stoner was one of the most prolific publishers of bird's-eye views in 19th-century America. He often worked with Milwaukee-based printers Beck & Pauli, who lithographed this view. This is among the rarest and most sought-after of the Stoner views.


Reps, Views and Viewmakers (1549) locates examples at the Connecticut Historical Society, Library of Congress, and Mariners’ Museum in Newport News, VA. OCLC further locates examples at the Massachusetts State Library, Penn State, and the Universities of Connecticut and Illinois. Additional examples are known at the Nantucket Historical Society.

Condition Description
Two-stone lithograph. Expertly and invisibly mended tears in the margin, along with one invisibly mended tear just entering the printed margin. Mounted on acid-free paper. Overall very good.
Reps, Views and Viewmakers, 1549.