A rare set of two early views of the Singapore River, published in the year 1835 in Paris France, in a publication describing the visit of Laplace to Singapore.
The French corvette La Favorite, under the command of Captain Cyrille Laplace, sailed eastwards around the world between 1830 and 1833 on the orders of the King of France, Louis-Philippe, to attempt to re-establish French influence in Indochina and to give support to French traders in the ports visited.
Singapore was the first port of call after the Straits of Malacca, and La Favorite spent five days here between 17 and 25 August 1830. She then sailed for Manila, Canton (Guangzhou) and Tourane in Cochinchina (southern Vietnam), then on to Anambas (WHERE) and Java before heading for Australia.
The artist, François-Edmond Pâris, was a naval draughtsman and sailed as lieutenant on the voyage. The engraver, Sigismond Himely, was born in Switzerland in 1801. He lived and worked as a painter, aquarelist and engraver in Paris, where his works were exhibited from 1824 to 1869.\
1) Port de Singapour - Port of Singapore
The first view shows South Boat Quay with the north bank visible on the right. European merchants who were displaced (WHY) from the north used warehouses on the originally marshy south bank after it was reclaimed in 1822. Masonry buildings and the row of steps built for ships to access the quay at high and low tide are also shown. Several buildings reflect Raffles' instructions for houses to be built of stone, with protected covered walkways in front.
2) Singapour - Singapore
The second view of the Singapore River is looking up the river from South Boat Quay. It shows Jackson's Bridge, the first bridge that connected North and South Bridge Roads and provided access to Chinatown. It was constructed of wood in 1823 by Lieutenant Philip Jackson, who was involved in the construction of the early roads and the filling in of the swampy area of the south bank of the Singapore River.
The central portion of the bridge could be raised to allow vessels to pass upstream. The quay on the south bank was built up as far as the bridge, following the guidelines in Raffles' Town Plan. The Governor's House on Government Hill is also depicted with its flagstaff.