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Antique Maps of Canada

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Bowen: Canada
Emanuel Bowen. "A New & Accurate Map of the Islands of Newfoundland, Cape Briton, St. John and Anticosta . . . with the Neighbouring Countries of Nova Scotia, Canada &c. . . ." From Complete Atlas or Distinct View of the Known World. London: E. Bowen, 1744. 13 3/4 x 16 3/4. Engraving. Very good condition. $400

Emanuel Bowen and his son Thomas (born when his father was 53) were both map printers and sellers. As engraver to George II of Britain and Louis XV of France, Emanuel Bowen worked in London from 1714 onwards. Some of the maps were the largest produced in their times and doubly unusual for Bowen's inclusion of historical and topographical information of amusing and fascinating note. He often joined with other printers to complete large works; for example Thomas Kitchin's The Large English Atlas. Sadly, royal appointments and seeming prosperity were not enough to prevent Emanuel's death in poverty, a legacy which he bequeathed to Thomas, who continuing the business died in Clerkenwell workhouse in 1790. 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 detailed map.

Admiralty: Gulf of St Laurence
British Admiralty. "A Chart of the Gulf of St. Laurence . . . by Astronomical Observations." London: R. Sayer & J. Bennett, 1775. 24 3/4 x 20 (platemarks). Engraving. Excellent condition. $750

Following the French and Indian War, 1754-63, the British Admiralty had many surveys and maps done of the waters in and around North America. The official publisher for the Admiralty was J.F.W. DesBarres who was working his way from North to South using many ships and mapmakers. As commerce increased and the Americans began militating over legal and economic differences with Great Britain, commercial map making firms used the DesBarres surveys to create their own maps. This careful astronomically oriented chart shows the two channels around Newfoundland that lead to the St. Laurence River. For commerce and possible military maneuvers, this chart would have had wide distribution.

Bonne: Eastern Canada
Rigobert Bonne. "L'Isle De Terre-Neuve, L'Acadie, ou La Nouvelle Ecosse, l'Isle St. Jean, et la Partie Orientale Du Canada." From Atlas Encyclopédique by Bonne and N. Desmarest. Paris: Hotel de Thou, 1787-88. 8 1/4 x 12 3/8 (neat lines). Engraving by André. Hand color. Very good condition. $225

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 was issued in the Atlas Encyclopédique, a volume designed to accompany the other volumes from the Encyclopédie Méthodique. The maps from this atlas are all neatly engraved, and while containing considerable detail, they are nonetheless elegantly attractive.

French & Indian War magazine maps

By the middle of the eighteenth century, a number of monthly magazines were being published in London. These magazines informed their readers on a variety of subjects, including natural history, topography, sports, and of course current affairs. The British public was fascinated by the events of the war with France and so there was great demand for up-to-date information, especially related to the American theater of battle. The British magazines met this demand with articles and illustrations which they rushed into print as soon as the details became available to them. The following maps appeared in contemporary magazines published in London between 1758 and 1761. These are among the most current illustrations of the events of the French & Indian War which are available to us today.


Weld: Quebec City
J. Stockdale. "A Plan of the City of Quebec." From I. Weld, Jr.'s Travels through the States of North America...during 1795, 1796 and 1797. London: J. Stockdale, 1798. 6 1/2 x 9 1/4 (neatlines). Engraving. Slight transferring. Folds as issued. Good condition.

A clear and interesting map of Quebec issued near the end of the eighteenth century. The map was published in Isaac Weld's work describing his travels through North America between 1795 and 1797. This map focuses on the scene of General Wolfe's great victory at the end of the French and Indian War. Quebec has always been scenic, and those with interests in the region had every reason to believe that it would be of central interest in any forthcoming clash between Great Britain and the United States. An early English map focusing just on Quebec and with a lovely engraved title cartouche. $175

Maps by John Melish. From A Military and Topographical Atlas of the United States. . Philadelphia: J. Melish, 1813-1815 . Engravings by Henry S. Tanner. Original outline hand color. With folds as issued. Very good condition, except as noted.

The success of his Travels prompted Melish to issue, in 1813, a general map on the "Seat of the War [of 1812]." This map was commercially very successful, so Melish then produced a number of other maps of regions involved in the War, issuing them in A Military and Topographical Atlas. Two years later he issued an updated edition of the Atlas, with the addition of some new maps of new areas of the conflict.

Cary: Canada 1816
John Cary. "Canada." From Cary's New Universal Atlas. London: J. Cary, 1816. 9 1/4 x 11 1/4. Engraving. Original hand color. Minor stains in margins. Else, very good condition. $150

A detailed map by John Cary (ca. 1754-1835), the founder of the famous English cartographic firm. From about mid-way through the eighteenth century, British cartographers were the best in the world, and the maps produced by Cary are good examples of the quality they achieved. Major regions and settlements, is presented with crisp engravings, with a three-dimensional topographical appearance. The subtle hand coloring adds a decorative touch to this fine early nineteenth century historic document.

Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge. "North America Sheet I. Nova-Scotia with part of New Brunswick and Lower Canada." London: SDUK, 1830-40. Ca. 12 x 15. Engraving. Original outline hand-color. Full margins; with slight chipping. Very good condition.

Detailed and clearly drawn map of Canadian portions of North 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 geographical understanding. Such precise views of 19th-century geography are splendid examples of the Society's work. Decorative and informative. $65

Gellatly: Canada
John Gellatly & Henry Washbourne. "British America." From New Edinburgh General Atlas. Edinburgh: J. Gellatly & London: Henry Washbourne, 1843. Engraving with original hand color. Light foxing in extreme margins, but image clean. $150

"Johnson's New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, and Prince Edward Id." New York: Johnson & Ward, 1863. 12 5/8 x 15 1/2. Lithograph. Original hand color. Lightly time-toned; overall, very good condition. $45

"Canada East or Lower Canada and New Brunswick." G.W. & C.B. Colton, 1866. 113/4 x 15 1/4. Lithograph. Original hand color. Very good condition. With inset, "Vicinity of Montreal."

In the mid-nineteenth century, the center of map publishing in America moved from Philadelphia to New York. The Colton publishing firm played a large role in that shift, producing crisp, clean maps like this one of Lower Canada. $35

"Map of Ontario in Counties." Philadelphia: S. Augustus Mitchell Jr., 1867. 10 5/8 x 13 1/4. Lithograph. Original hand color. Very good condition. $65

"County Map of Nova Scotia New Brunswick Cape Breton Id. and Pr. Edward's Id." Philadelphia: S. Augustus Mitchell Jr., 1871. 13 1/2 x 10 1/2. Lithograph. Original hand color. Very good condition. $50


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