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Antique Maps of Central America

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San Salvador
Jacques N. Bellin. "Grundriss der Stadt St. Salvador. Haupt-stadt in Brasilien." From Allgemeine Historie Der Reisen Zu Wasser Und Zu Land . . .. Leipzig: Arkstee & Merkus, 1758. 7 1/2 x 11 3/4. Engraving. Very good condition.

A detailed map of San Salvador by Jacques Nicolas Bellin, the Hydrographer to the King of France, from a German edition of Prevost's Voyages. 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. His map of the capital of El Salvador shows very precise detail of the city, with the main features identified through a numbered and a lettered key. An added feature is the view of the city as seen from the bay, engraved along the top. $175

Thomas Kitchin. "Carta del Golfo del Messico dell' Isole e Paesi adjacenti." From Storia d. America. Italy, 1777-1780? 12 1/4 x 18 3/4. Engraving. Folds, as issued, and some creasing near folds. Otherwise, excellent condition.

A map from William Robertson's popular History of America, one of the first scholarly histories written of the western hemisphere. Once the first edition appeared in 1777, it was almost immediately translated into numerous other languages, including Italian. This map comes from one of the early Italian editions. There is good detail throughout, including many settlements and political divisions. A note on the Texas coast indicates the spot that LaSalle landed on his ill-fated voyage with the legend, "Qui il Sig. de la Sale si stabili nel 1685." $625

Bonne: Central America
Rigobert Bonne. "Partie Méridionale, de l'Ancien Méxique ou de la Nouvle Espagne." Paris, ca. 1780. 9 1/2 x 13 3/4 (platemarks) plus full margins. No. 27 from an atlas. Engraving by Andre. Very good condition.

Rigobert Bonne (1727-95) was the Royal Hydrographer of France, so his primary interest was in marine charts. However, with his Royal connections and access to the cartographic documents in Paris, Bonne was able to compile maps containing some of the most up-to-date information of his time. This map is a good example of his work, including precisely drawn coastal profiles and details, and considerable inland information on orography, rivers, towns, and political boundaries. $125

Bonne: Gulf of Mexico
Rigobert Bonne. "L'Ancien et le Nouveau Méxique, avec la Floride et la Basse Louisiane, partie Orientale." From Atlas Supplément. Paris: 1787. 13 5/8 x 9 1/4. Engraving by AndrĂ©. Hand color. Very good condition.

Rigobert Bonne was the Royal Hydrographer of France, so his primary interest was in marine charts. However, with his Royal connections and access to the cartographic documents in Paris, Bonne was able to compile maps containing some of the most up-to-date information of his time. This map of the Western Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico shows much detail of the coastlines, all clearly presented, and fascinating to study. This is a fine map of Central America from close to the beginning of U.S. history. $210

SDUK Central America
"Central America." London: SDUK, 1842. 12 1/4 x 15 1/2. Engraving by J. & C. Walker. Original outline hand coloring. Full margins. Very good condition.

An early map of Central America 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. Here they have produced a fine map of southern Mexico and the nations of Central America. Coastal information abounds with fine detail. $125

Colton Central America
J.H. Colton. "Central America." New York: J.H. Colton & Co., 1855. 12 x 15. Lithograph. Original hand color. Small chips in extreme margins. Else, very good condition.

A lovely map of Central America, from Panama to the Yucatan, issued around mid-century by the Colton cartographic firm of New York. At the time this map was produced, the British were the dominating external force in the region. However, with the Gold Rush in 1849 came American interest in trade routes through the area. An American by the name of William Walker, gained control of Nicaragua. His power was over extended resulting in political and military cooperation between the remaining Central American countries. Walker was ousted in less than five years. Five insets are also included: Aspinwall City, Panama City, the "Nicaragua Route," Harbor of San Juan de Nicaragua, and the Isthmus of Panama. $150

Desilver Central America 1856
J.L. Hazzard. "A New Map of Central America." Philadelphia: Charles Desilver, 1856. 12 3/4 x 15 3/4. Lithograph. Original hand color. Very good condition. With decorative border.

Charles Desilver, one of the many publishers working in Philadelphia during the mid-nineteenth century, issued an atlas of maps based on the famous Tanner-Mitchell-Cowperthwait series. Desilver used much the same information as originally drawn in the 1840s, but updated the maps with new roads, towns, and other information. This map is typical of the rather unusual and scarce Desilver atlas. Insets showing a "map of the communication by railroad across the Isthmus of Darien from Aspinwall to Panama" and "The Isthmus of Tehuantepec Showing the Proposed Route from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean." An attractive and fascinating document of Central America. $150

S. Augustus Mitchell Jr. "Map of Mexico, Central America, and the West Indies." Philadelphia: S. Augustus Mitchell, Jr. 1864. 13 1/4 x 21 1/4. Lithograph. Original hand coloring. Full margins. Decorative border. Very good condition.

For most of the middle part of the nineteenth century, the firm founded by S. Augustus Mitchell dominated American cartography in output and influence. This fine map is from one of his son's atlases. The map depicts each state colored in a contrasting pastel shade, and includes insets of Jamaica, Cuba, Bermuda and the Panama Railroad. A fine decorative border surrounds the map, and the whole effect makes for an attractive mid-nineteenth century map. $275


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