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Antique Maps of regions of North America
from the 18th Century

[ Maps of the Western America | 19th century regional maps ]

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Jaillot: Chesapeake
A.H. Jaillot. "Carte Particulaire de Virginie, Maryland, Pennsilvanie, La Nouvelle Iarsey Orient et Occidentale." Amsterdam: Pierre Mortier, 1700. 20 x 31. Engraving. Original outline hand color. Minor stains in margins. Else, very good condition.

An attractive, large scale sea chart of the area around the Chesapeake Bay from Norfolk to New York. The son of French parents, Mortier was born in France but lived and worked in Amsterdam (1661-1722). A bookseller and publisher from about 1685, he entered into the map-trade in 1690 and soon became known as a publisher of some of the finest maps of the period. Though there is no definite attribution, this map is derived from the work of two Englishman, William Fisher and John Thornton. These two men published in 1689 what was to become for over one hundred years, a virtually unaltered sailing chart of the Chesapeake area. This map improved upon earlier maps showing greater detail of soundings, sand bars, and new place names, especially along the Virginia coast, that was not previously known.

This map is essentially a sea chart that was part of Mortier's Le Neptune François. The interesting details of this map include the presence of sand bars and a "sunken marais [marsh]" off-shore of Staten Island (no Manhattan shown); the wealth of detail throughout the Chesapeake Bay; the amount of settlement along the James and York Rivers; and the recognition of Philadelphia as the only city of any substance. The rose compasses and rhumb lines along with the hand coloring, make the map very attractive. Unusually large for a sea chart, the map was obviously intended as something of a showpiece. Decoratively and historically a show-stopper. $7,500

Herman Moll. "A Map of Mexico or New Spain Florida now called Louisiana and Part of California &c." From Atlas Geographus: or; A Compleat System of Geography, (Ancient and Modern) For America. London: John Nicholson, 1717. 7 x 10. Very good condition. Framed.

The map is by Herman Moll, who was a Dutch emigré to England after 1680. Moll soon established his own business and became England's most prominent map publisher, his prolific output covered a wide range from loose maps to atlases. His work was highly regarded and often copied due to the quality of detail found in his maps. This map shows North America from just north of the 35th parallel and extends south to encompass all of Central America. Moll includes much detail of settlements and Indian tribes. This area was mostly controlled by the Spanish or French, though a large "Carolina" is shown with "Charles Towne" indicated. $625

Homann: New England
Johann Baptist Homann. "Nova Anglia Septentrionali Americae implantata Anglorumque coloniis florentissima." Nuremberg: J.C. Homann, ca. 1730. Second state. 19 1/4 x 22 7/8. Engraving. Full original hand color. Very good condition. Ref.: McCorkle, 724.1. Speculates that this map appeared as early as 1716. Some paper wrinkles along center fold. Full margins.

While the French and then the English generally dominated the cartographic world in the eighteenth century, the Homann firm from Nuremberg, Germany was producing many influential maps and atlases. The firm was founded about 1702 by Johann Baptist Homann, who was appointed Geographer to the Emperor in 1715. In 1724, upon J.B. Homann's death, the company passed on to his son, Johann Christoph Homann and then to his heirs, who traded under the name of Homann Heirs. This map shows New England, extending from present-day Maine to Philadelphia, is one of the best examples of the Homann output. This is a second state of the map, issued about 1730, with "Sac. Caes. Majest Geographo," added below the title.

The maps by the Homann firm are noted for their striking appearance and this colored map is no exception. Of note is the wonderful baroque title cartouche which embodies European impressions of the New World. A Native American, European trader, native fauna, and various American trading goods are all depicted in this impressive engraving. The map gives much interesting detail on the region, including rivers, lakes, towns, Indian settlements, and an indication of the political divisions such as "New Jork," "Nova Anglia," and west and east New Jersey. Though this information is confidently depicted in a bold manner, much of it is inaccurate. For instance, Lake Champlain is shown directly north of the Connecticut River and a large non-existent lake, "Zuyd Lac," is depicted on the Delaware River north of Philadelphia. The grid plan for this city is crudely indicated, as is the Schuylkill River and Wissahickon Creek. Also of interest is the type of Cape Cod, which is shown as an island. Overall, a wonderful document of the early eighteenth century. $2,300

Bowen Southeast
Emanuel Bowen after Henry Popple. "A New & Accurate Map of the Provinces of North & South Carolina Georgia &c. Drawn from late Surveys and regulated by Astron Observat. By Eman. Bowen." From A Complete System of Geography. London: E. Bowen, 1747. Engraving. 13 5/8 x 16 3/4. Very good condition.

Emanuel Bowen was a map engraver, printer and publisher in London in the mid-eighteenth century. He achieved considerable success in this field, being appointed as engraver to both Louis XV of France and George II of Britain, and later as Geographer to the latter. He produced some of the most interesting maps of his time. Despite his royal appointments and apparent success, Bowen died in poverty in 1767. Through all the vicissitudes of his life, however, Emanuel Bowen's maps continued at a very high level of quality, as is exampled in this nicely detailed map of the "Provinces" of North and South Carolina and Georgia. This map is a reduced version of the southeastern sheet from Henry Popple's important map of North America (1733). It extends from the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay to St. Augustine, and stopping just short of Mobile Bay in the west. The detail is most impressive, with rivers, European and Native American settlements, and an indication of the Appalachian Mountains. In what would become Tennessee is a note of the "Charokee Indians." A rare and interesting map of the southeastern part of the British colonies from just before the French & Indian War. $1,350

Joshua Fry and Peter Jefferson. "Carte De La Virginie et Du Maryland." Paris: Gilles Robert De Vaugondy, 1755. 19 x 25 1/4. Engraving by E[lizabeth]. Haussard. Original outline color. Slight spotting and petite chips at extremities. Very good condition and impression. The strongest strike we have seen. Pedley: 470, state 1.

The first state of Robert De Vaugondy's French edition of the Fry-Jefferson map of Virginia and Maryland. This is one of the most famous of American maps, and the finest eighteenth century map of these states. Commissioned by the colonial government of Virginia, this is the first accurate map of the colony beyond the Chesapeake Bay region and into the Appalachian mountains. Joshua Fry, Thomas Jefferson's tutor, and Peter Jefferson, Thomas' father, based the map on their own surveys of the interior together with other first-hand information, producing a superior map that extends from the Chesapeake in the east to beyond the mountains in the west. This map was thus a watershed in the history of the mapping of Virginia and remained the prototype for the region for the second half of the century. The first edition of this map was published in London in 1751 in a very large size. Its impact was greatly increased by this reduced French edition, which came out a mere four years after the first English edition. In fact, it is said that Thomas Jefferson hung the smaller version at Monticello as the English copy of his father's map was too large. The map shows excellent topographical information from Delaware through western Virginia, presenting the development, transportation and economic potential of the mid-Atlantic English colonies in a wonderfully graphic manner. $4,200

Lotter: PA, NJ & NY  1756+
Tobias Conrad Lotter. "Pensylvania Nova Jersey et Nova York Cum Regionibus Ad Fluvium Delaware In America Sitis, Nova Delineatione ob oculos posita per Tob. Conr. Lotter Geographum Aug. Vind." Augsburg: T.C. Lotter, 1756-1774. 22 x 20. Engraving. Light hand color. Strong impression. Although conserved it has light scattered stains, especially at bottom right corner. Else, good condition. Full margins.

A wonderful yet misunderstood map of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and southeastern New York, based upon Lewis Evans' map of 1749, one of the first and most important maps on the region. Evans mapping was the first really accurate and descriptive map of the mid-Atlantic regions to include good interior information. While this map has an almost humorous appearance, lending it a great visual appeal, it very closely copies Evans' information. The regions not mapped by Evans are inaccurate on Lotter's map, but the central part of the map directly reflects Evans' data, making this one of the most accurate portrayals of that area to the time. This German version, initially issued by Lotter's father-in-law, Matthew Seutter, shortly after the publication of Evans' map, would have had a great impact on the European conception of these British colonies, for Seutter and Lotter enjoyed a wider circulation than Evans. This map, then, illustrates the view many Europeans had of this important region at the beginning of the American Revolution.

Along with its cartographic importance, the map has a wonderful visual appeal. The elaborate rococo title cartouche in the upper left presents an idyllic picture of the New World, illustrating American flora and fauna and showing peaceful natives showing-off the fecundity of their world to a prosperous looking European. One of the most salient visual aspects of the map is its crude depiction of rivers and mountains. Adding to the appeal of the map is its obviously distorted picture of New England, squeezed into the available space so that the entire region, including Cape Cod, fit into an area narrower than New Jersey. This distortion is to achieve relative direction. Overall, this is a decorative and historic, though misunderstood, document worthy of any collection. Ref.: J.W. Docktor, "Seutter/Lotter Map of Pensylvania Nova Jersey et Nova York," The Portolan (Winter, 1993): 12-19. $2,200

Bellin: Louisiana et pays voisins
Jacques Nicolas Bellin. "Carte de la Louisiane, et Pays Voisins." From Prevost d'Exiles' Histoire Generale des Voiages. Paris: Chez Didot, 1757. Engraving. 8 5/8 x 11 7/8. Very good condition.

From about 1650 to the middle of the eighteenth century, the French dominated the cartographic world, with their fine, scientifically based maps. These maps were particularly outstanding and significant for the northern interior of North America. This vast, forested region was explored throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries by French trappers, traders and missionaries. The information from their explorations was relayed back to Paris, where it was used by the great French cartographers to compile the finest maps of the region produced to that time.

Nicolas Bellin (1703-72), Hydrographer to the King of France, was one of the best French cartographers of the later period. His maps of North America were detailed and generally contained the latest information available. This map is somewhat anachronistic, for about the same time the British were beginning to come out with maps based on their surveys of the interior of the continent, but this map does present the French understanding of their American possessions just before they lost vast territories to the British in the French & Indian War, during which it was issued. It can be seen as a cartographic statement of French claims to the vast middle of the continent, extending from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico, and from the Appalachians to the Rocky Mountains. Bellin notes all major river systems, especially the Mississippi system upon which their claims rested, and many of the French forts, including Detroit, Fort Duquesne (Pittsburgh), Fort de la Presque Isle (Erie), Sandoske, and Fort "Checagou." This is a wonderful document from the period. $675

Bellin: Carolina and Georgia
Jacques Nicolas Bellin. "Carte de la Caroline et Georgie." Paris, 1757. 7 1/2 x 11 1/4. Engraving. Hand color. Very good condition.

Nicolas Bellin was 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. This map shows the American southeast from southern Virginia to northern Florida. Information includes rivers, lakes, and orographic detail. Especially interesting is the detail of early forts and settlements, both European and Native American. As is to be expected from a hydrographer, coastal and riparian detail is especially copious. A nice mid-eighteenth century map of the region. $525

Southeastern US
[North America.] From Gentleman's Magazine. London: June 1763. 7 1/8 x 9 3/8. Engraving by J. Gibson. Some minor chipping at edges of margins. Otherwise, very good condition.

Beginning in 1731, monthly news magazines made their appearance in Britain. These magazines, with such names as Gentleman's Magazine and London Magazine, contained poetry, prose, and articles on events, fashions, personalities, and other items of the day that might be of interest to the English gentleman. One of their most popular, and historically important, features was the inclusion of prints and maps to accompany their articles. This map is a fine example of these illustrations, showing the situation in North America at the end of the French & Indian War. The French & Indian War evolved from conflicting British and French claims over the lands between the English colonies on the Atlantic seaboard and the French colonies along the inland waterways such as the St. Lawrence and Mississippi Rivers. The war was ended with the Treaty of Paris on February 10, 1763 and this map came out just a few months later, and it is, in effect, a depiction of the lands won by the British, between the Mississippi River, shown running right up the center of the map, to a dotted line with the label "Formerly the French claim'd all ye Country Westward of this Line." The information in the western parts of the British colony is sketchy, but fascinating. Indian tribes are shown throughout, and there are indications of forts and settlements such as "Walkers Settle't." The southern colonies of Virginia, Carolina, and Georgia are shown extending to the Mississippi. West of that river is "Louisiana," the Spanish territory in the continent. A fine map of the end of the French & Indian War. $425

Bellin: Boston
Jacques Nicolas Bellin. "Carte de la Baye de Baston [sic]." From Le Petit Atlas Maritime. Paris, 1764. 8 1/4 x 6 3/8. Engraving. Original hand color. Full margins. Small spot. Else excellent condition.

From about 1650 to 1750, the French dominated the cartographic world, with their fine, scientifically based maps. Jacques Nicolas Bellin (1703-72), Hydrographer to the King of France, was one of the best French cartographers of the later period. His specialty were marine and coastal maps and his famous Petit Atlas Maritime contained small but detailed charts of coasts and coastal cities around the world, including a series of fascinating American maps. $500

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