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Antique Maps of Massachusetts

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Jacques N. Bellin. "Carte de la Baye de Baston [sic]. Située dans la Nouvelle Angleterre." From Le Petit Atlas Maritime. Paris: J.N. Bellin, 1764. 8 1/4 x 6 3/8. Engraving. Original hand color. Small stain. Otherwise, excellent condition.

A map of Boston Bay by Jacques Nicolas Bellin, the Hydrographer to the King of France. From about 1650 to 1750, the French dominated the cartographic world, with their fine, scientifically based maps, elegantly engraved and precisely detailed. Bellin (1703-72) was one of the best in the later period. The major towns around the bay, Chelsea to Hingham, are indicated as are the main rivers emptying into the bay. Also shown are the many islands and soundings throughout. $500

Samuel Lewis. "Massachusetts." From A New and Elegant General Atlas by Aaron Arrowsmith and Samuel Lewis: Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, Petersburg and Norfolk, 1804. 7 7/8 x 9 3/4. Engraving by Tanner. Minor spotting in margins and upper left corner. Otherwise, very good condition.

The maps from this early American atlas were the works of Aaron Arrowsmith, one of the foremost cartographers of his era, and Samuel Lewis, one of the leaders in the nascent American cartographic field. This map of Massachusetts is a fine example of Lewis' output. Also of note, the map was engraved by Henry S. Tanner, who started as an engraver, but soon came to dominate the second generation of American cartographers. $150

Fielding Lucas, Jr. "Massachusetts." From A New and Elegant General Atlas Containing Maps of each of the United States. Baltimore: F. Lucas, Jr., 1816. Folio. 8 1/4 x 10 3/4. Engraving. Full original hand color. Large margins. Fine condition.

A fine map by Baltimore cartographer, Fielding Lucas, Jr. (1781- 1854). Lucas appears to have become involved in the publishing and book trade while a resident of Philadelphia from 1798 to 1804, when he moved to Baltimore. In 1807 Lucas joined Conrad, Lucas & Co., and then in 1810 he set up his own business at 138 Market Street. There Lucas first got involved in cartographic publishing with his New and Elegant General Atlas of 1816. In the second decade of the nineteenth century, through his Philadelphia contacts, Lucas was one of the major contributors to Carey & Lea's atlas of 1823. Concurrently with this involvement, Lucas brought out his own General Atlas, containing 104 maps of all parts of the world. Lucas, during his 50 years of residence in Baltimore, established himself as a prominent citizen of that city, serving as President of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, President of the Board of School Commissioners, and as President of the Second Branch of the City Council. But it is for his important role in early American cartography that Lucas is best remembered. $325

After John Melish. "Boston and Adjacent Country." Philadelphia, [1822]. 5 1/2 x 3. Engraving. Very good condition.

A detailed map of the region around Boston by one of the seminal figures in the history of American cartography. John Melish was the first American publisher to issue exclusively cartographic and geographic items. Born in Scotland and involved in the textile industry, Melish visited the United States several times beginning in 1806, finally deciding to settle there in 1811. Melish had made many notes on his travels about the country and in 1812 he published Travels in the United States of America, which included his first maps and which started him on his cartographic career. Then in 1816, Melish issued his Geographical Description, which contained extensive information about the entire United States and surrounding regions. For each new edition of these works, Melish would update his regional maps. This is a later version of his map of the Boston region, perhaps issued shortly after his death in 1822. This map shows Boston within the context of its surrounding vicinity, with towns, ferries, roads, and waterways clearly and accurately detailed. $175

Fielding Lucas. "Massachusetts." Philadelphia: H.C. Carey & I. Lea, 1822. 11 3/4 x 18 3/4 (map); 16 1/2 x 20 1/2 (full sheet). Engraving by J. Yeager. Full original hand color. Repaired separation along bottom half of centerfold. Else, very good condition.

In 1822, Henry Charles Carey and Isaac Lea published their A Complete Historical, Chronological, and Geographical American Atlas. This volume was based on Emmanuel Las Cases' Atlas Historique of 1803, with updated maps and text modified by Carey, a political economist. He considered himself an American foil to John Stuart Mill and the London economists who were proclaimers of "the gloomy science" influenced by Ricardo and Malthus. Instead of preaching overpopulation and degeneration of the human species, Carey illustrated the nations of the western hemisphere through maps that showed an expanding region with ample promise of developing into lands of great new opportunity and growth. The sheets from this atlas, which cover North America, Central America, South America and the West Indies, are comprised of an engraved map surrounded by text documenting the history, climate, population and so forth of the area depicted. The atlas is particularly known for its excellent early maps of the states and territories of the United States. This map of Massachusetts is filled with information on towns, lakes, rivers, and some orography, all very attractively presented. The road system is clearly shown and quite impressive. $450

"Map of the States of Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island" with inset "Plan of Boston." From John H. Hinton's The History and Topography of the United States of America. London: I.T. Hinton & Simpkin & Marshall, [1830]-1832. Steel engraving by Fenner Sears & Co. Fine condition.

A lovely example of a steel engraving from one of the more popular nineteenth century view and map books, Hinton's History and Topography. This work contained text and numerous illustrations documenting the history and topography of the United States. Hinton used many different artists, all the engravings being made from drawings made on the spot. For their wide coverage, accurate detail, and pleasing appearance, these are amongst the finest small images of early nineteenth century America to be found anywhere. The London edition was the only one with maps of the regions throughout the United States. $150

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SDUK. "Boston with Charlestown and Roxbury." London: Chapman & Hall, 1842. 14 1/2 x 11 1/2. Steel engraving. Original outline color. Short, repaired tears in margins. Else, very good condition.

A detailed and precisely drawn map of Boston by the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge (SDUK). This wonderful English enterprise was devoted to the spreading of up-to-date information and the enhancing of understanding. The Society is noted for their excellent maps, in particular their series of city maps of all parts of the world. These maps show most streets and major buildings. This map of Boston is typical of the Society's output, with clear presentation of much detail of the city. The parks, roads, docks, and roads are shown with good detail, and double lines indicate railroads coming into the city from many points. Outlying towns of Charlestown and Lechmere are separate communities as are East Boston and South Boston. A fine plan of the city from the middle of the nineteenth century. $350

H.S. Tanner. "Massachusetts and Rhode Island." From Tanner's Universal Atlas. Philadelphia: Carey & Hart, [1841]-43. 10 3/4 x 14. Engraving by J. & W.W. Warr. Full original hand color. A few spots, else, very good condition.

A strong and beautifully crafted map of Massachusetts and Rhode Island from the nineteenth century by the great American cartographer, Henry Schenck Tanner. In 1816, Henry, his brother Benjamin, John Vallance and Francis Kearny formed an engraving firm in Philadelphia. Having had experience at map engraving through his work with John Melish, Tanner conceived of the idea of compiling and publishing an American Atlas, which was begun in 1819 by Tanner, Vallance, Kearny & Co.. Soon Tanner took over the project on his own, and thus began his career as cartographic publisher. The American Atlas was a huge success, and this inspired Tanner to produce his Universal Atlas, of more manageable size. This atlas contained excellent maps of each state, focusing on the transportation network, including roads, railroads and canals. All details are clearly presented, and these include towns, rivers, mountains, political boundaries and the transportation information. In 1844, Carey & Hart issued an edition of the atlas, and the maps were later purchased by S. Augustus Mitchell, and then Thomas, Cowperthwait & Co.. Maps from the early Tanner/Carey & Hart edition are quite rare and desirable. This map of the two states is typical of the Tanner maps. It shows excellent information, especially of the transportation network. An inset in the lower left gives a detailed plan of Boston. $325

"Massachusetts and Rhode Island." Philadelphia: S. Augustus Mitchell, 1849. 11 1/2 x 15 1/4. Lithographic transfer from engraved plate. Original hand-coloring. Very good condition. With an inset of Boston.

For much of the middle part of the nineteenth century, the Mitchell firm dominated American cartography in output and influence. S. Augustus Mitchell Jr.'s maps of the 1860s are probably the best known issues of this firm, but his father's earlier efforts are excellent maps derived from H.S. Tanner's atlas of the 1830s. This map of Massachusetts and Rhode Island is a good example of this work. Topographical information, including towns, rivers, roads, canals and railroads, is profuse and clearly shown, and the counties are shaded with contrasting pastel colors. A statistical table about the states is included, as is an inset map of Boston. It is obvious from the quality and attractive appearance of this map why Mitchell's firm became so important. $275

"County Map of Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island." Philadelphia: S. Augustus Mitchell, Jr., 1867. 11 1/2 x 13 3/4. Lithograph. Original hand color. Decorative border. Very good condition.

S. Augustus Mitchell, Jr., of Philadelphia, was one of the largest map publishers of the middle of the nineteenth century. The firm was founded by his father, who from around the middle of the nineteenth century issued atlases and maps of all parts of the world in all formats. The Mitchell atlases contained up-to-date maps which were as attractive as they were accurate. With its bold hand-color, decorative borders, and interesting information from this interesting period of American history, this is a fine example of the Mitchell firm's output. $125

"Map of the Railroads of the State of Massachusetts Accompanying the Report of the Railroad Commissioners 1874." Boston: Rand, Avery, & Co. , 1874. 27 7/8 x 37 3/8. Lithograph. Uncolored. With folds as issued; minor wear along folds. Otherwise, very good condition.

A clear and striking map of Massachusetts and surrounding states, including all of Rhode Island and Connecticut as well as portions of New York (encompassing both New York City and Long Island ), New Jersey, New Hampshire, and Vermont. Detail is crisp and clear as railroad lines spread in a web across the Northeast Corridor. Each stop along the lines is clearly marked, making this an informative document of the interconnectedness of towns in southern New England. $200


Maps from Official Topographical Atlas of Massachusetts. Philadelphia: Stedman, Brown & Lyon, 1871. Lithographs. Original hand color. Some maps with chipped corners. Very good condition, unless noted otherwise.

Double page maps. 23 x 15.

Single page maps. 13 3/4 x 11 3/4. Some maps are double sided with a map on each side, as noted.


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