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Antique Maps of the Western Hemisphere

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Moll America
Herman Moll. "A General and Particular Description of America." From The Compleat Geographer. London: A. & J. Church, ca. 1700. 6 3/4 x 7 1/2. Engraving by H. Moll. Water stains and soiling in margins at top and slightly into image at right; worm holes at bottom right. Full sheet lined with archival tissue. Else, good condition. McLaughlin 173.

Herman Moll was a Dutch émigré to England sometime after 1680, and he soon established his own business in London. Moll became England's most prominent map publisher and engraver, his prolific output covered a wide range from loose maps to atlases. This charming map of North & South America depicts one of the most interesting curiosities of cartographic history, California shown as an island. This cartographic myth first appeared in 1622 and disappeared only after Holy Roman Emperor, Ferdinand VI, stated, in a royal decree of 1747, "California is not an island." Also of interest are the mythical depictions of Manoa (El Dorado) and the "Land of Jesso." Much of the northwest of America is uncharted, and an early depiction of "New Zeeland" is also included. This map shows the prime meridian running through the Canary Islands rather than using a European city as was often the case. An excellent early map, and fine document of the period. $375

Bonne: North Americas 1780
Rigobert Bonne. "Amérique Septentrionale." From Bonne's Atlas de toutes les parties connues du Globe Terrestre. Paris, 1780. 8 3/8 x 12 5/8. Engraving. 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 was issued just at the end of the American Revolution. Bonne had good information to show towns, rivers, forts and other features. Detail is clearly presented, and fascinating to study. This is a fine map of North America from the very beginning of our country's history. $175

Conder: Western Hemisphere cities
Thomas Conder. "Various Plans and Draughts of Cities, Towns , Harbours . . ." [New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Charlestown and Havanna]. London: ca. 1780. 11 3/4 x 8 1/4 (image). Engraving. Some soiling middle to upper left hand side. Else, good condition. $275

The publisher of this map, which shows a series of smaller maps of American cities, is unknown. However this map did appear in Millar's Geography, which was a wonderful collection of maps, prints and text issued in London in 1781. All the American maps are based on larger maps issued by William Faden. $275

Bonne: Americas 1788
Rigobert Bonne. "Mappe-Monde sur le plan d'un Méridien. Hémisphère Occidentale." From Bonne & Desmarest's Atlas Encyclopédique. Paris: Hotel de Thou, 1787-88. 13 1/2 x 9 1/2. Engraving by André. 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 Hemisphere shows much of both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans as well. Details of the Pacific, including Hawaii, reported from Cook's voyages, and an accurate depiction of NW North America (still hinting at a Northwest passage) is clearly presented, and fascinating to study. In the lower right, the most decorative element is a 16 point compass rose. This is a fine map of the American continents from close to the beginning of U.S. history. $275

Gibson N. America
John Gibson. [A New Map of the Whole Continent of America…]. London: Laurie & Whittle, 1794. 20 3/8 x 46 3/4. Engraving. Original hand color. Top two sheets (joined) of four. Several old vertical folds. Numerous short tears in map from map extremities newly repaired with archival tape along with previous old repairs. Small ink smear in Bay of Panama. Else, fine condition. $825

The top top half of a wonderful, large four sheet map of the American continent from northern Canada down to the southern tip of South America, including the West Indies, and the western tip of Africa and Europe. This map was originally drawn by John Gibson in 1763, and it was a modified version of D'Anville's map of North & South America, and it was later updated using the cartographic information of Governor Thomas Pownall, who was one of America's important early cartographers.

The version updated with Thomas Pownall's information was first issued in 1777 by Sayer & Bennett, using information from Pownall's important maps of the preceding three decades, including his important reissue of Lewis Evans map of the Middle Colonies with his own addendum showing New England. This is a further updated issue by Laurie & Whittle later in the century. The detail depicted is impressive, including rivers, lakes, towns, Indian settlements, mountains, roads, and many other such features. Also included is a table listing the United States and the possessions of the various European powers.

Morse: North Americas 1796
"A General Map of North America from the best Authorities." From Jedidiah Morse's The American Universal Geography. Boston: Thomas & Andrews, June 1796. 7 1/2 x 8 3/4. Engraving by A. Doolittle. Wheat & Brun: 55. Very good condition.

A fine late eighteenth century map of North America. This map was from Jedidiah Morse's Geography, one of the first American publications of its kind. Morse, the father of Samuel F.B. Morse, established himself in the 1780s as one of the leading producers of American maps. Doolittle, the engraver, is one of the great names in American engraving, especially during the Revolution. The map is of interest because of its early detail: the Northwest Territory is noted east of the Mississippi River, the "Acansis R" appears for the Arkansas River, and "Iowa Town" is an Indian town in present-day Iowa. The first Morse map of North America. $225

Carey: North America
Mathew Carey. "A New and Accurate Map of North America from the best Authorities." Philadelphia: M. Carey, 1814. 13 3/8 x 14 1/2. Engraving. Original outline color. Full margins. Very good condition.

An interesting American map of the North America. Published by Mathew Carey in 1814 during the War of 1812, this map is from Carey's Atlas which represented the best American cartographic work of the period. Carey, an Irish immigrant, established the first American specialized cartographic publishing firm. He set up an elaborate cottage system of craftsmen for engraving, printing, and coloring his maps utilizing the best independent artists directed to a common end. Carey is important, then, not only for the excellent maps he produced, but for his setting the pattern for American map publishing, to be followed by the likes of John Melish and Henry S. Tanner.

The map shows the best understanding of the continent prior to the explorations of Lewis & Clark. The map does show the lands of the Louisiana Purchase as belonging to the United States, with the northwestern most part named as "Quivira." The coastline, though, is quite accurate being based on the recent explorations of Vancouver and La Perouse. The river systems in the west are roughly and incorrectly shown, including the "Columbia or River of the West" extending so that it comes very close to some of the branches of the upper Mississippi. Some of the Indian tribes are noted, including Apacheria, Pimas and Yuma. The nature of the Rocky Mountains is clearly not known, with the Canadian chain ending above the "River of the West" and there being only a small compact range near the headwaters of the Rio Grande and Colorado Rivers. An excellent map of the period. $450

Pinkerton: W Hemisphere
L. Hebert. "Western Hemisphere." Drawn by L. Hebert under the direction of Pinkerton. From John Pinkerton's Modern Atlas. Philadelphia: Thomas Dobson & Co., 1818. 20 x 20. Engraving by Samuel Neele. Full original color. Excellent condition.

Another in the line of superbly produced British maps from the beginning of the nineteenth century. Originally published in London by Cadell & Davis in 1812, the Atlas was republished by Dobson for the American market. Because of its large size, this map contains particularly impressive detail, all very finely engraved and enhanced with light pastel wash color. The map is virtually identical to work engraved by Neele for John Thomson of Edinburgh. $375

"America." Edinburgh: John Thomson, 1819. 19 1/2 x 23 1/2. Engraving by Neele. Full original hand color. Spotting, almost all in margins. Otherwise, very good condition.

A handsome map by leading British cartographic publisher, John Thomson of Edinburgh. The maps issued in London and Edinburgh in the early nineteenth century, a period when the British were the leading world power, were the best in the world. The skill of the engraving and careful detail is impressive, and the lovely hand color adds a nice decorative appeal. The map is, however, surprisingly out-of-date, for the United States is shown extending only to the Mississippi despite the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. Perhaps this region was considered of secondary importance or possibly Thomson didn't believe the United States could effectively control this vast territory. Whatever, the map is handsome, contains excellent detail, and is quite interesting historically. $300

John Thomson. "Western Hemisphere." From A New General Atlas. Edinburgh: J. Thomson & Co, 1821. 19 1/2 x 23 1/4. Engraving by Kirkwood & Son. Original hand color. Some faint offsetting. Very good condition.

In the early nineteenth century, the British cartographic publishers were producing the finest maps in the world. John Thomson, working in Edinburgh, was one of the leading British cartographers and his maps are good evidence of the quality of work issued in Great Britain at the time. The navy and marine merchants of Great Britain dominated the world at the time, so the islands of the West Indies were of particular interest. Thomson included both a general map and other maps which illustrated individual islands. In this map the political affiliation of each island is indicated by its colored outline. $450

J. Finlayson. "North America." From Carey & Lea's Historical, Chronological, and Geographical American Atlas. Philadelphia: H.C. Carey & I. Lea, 1822. Map, 14 x 13 1/8; full sheet with text, 16 1/2 x 20 1/2. Engraving by J. Yeager. Full original color. Slight darkening at 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.

This map of North America is a very fine example from the atlas. It shows the entire continent at an interesting period in its political development, in particular for the United States. The map was issued just after the Missouri Compromise, so that state is indicated, as is the Arkansas Territory just to the south, extending from the Mississippi to the border with Mexico, which follows the line determined by the Adams-Onis Treaty of 1819. Of interest is that Finlayson shows the country as including the entire Missouri Territory extending as far north as where the "Russian Possessions" begin. This region was at the time under joint control by the British and Americans, with the final political settlement, with a border at the 49th parallel, not established until 1846. The text around the side of the map is quite interesting. $475

Freidrich von Stülpnagel. "Nord America." From Stieler's Hand-Atlas. Gotha: Adolf Stieler and Christian Gottlieb Reichard, 1832. Double-folio, 11 1/2 x 14 1/4. Engraving by L. Thiel. Original outline color. Faint waterstain and scattered spotting. Else, fine condition.

Stieler's Hand-Atlas was one of the finest world atlases of the 19th century. Known for its maps with clear and precise topographical detail, this atlas continued to include engraved maps to the end of the century. The maps were regularly updated and this shows the impressive amount of information. All of Stieler's maps show lakes, rivers, mountains, towns and cities of all sizes, and roads all clearly presented. A most impressive map detailing North America on the eve of Texas Independence. $575

Dower: Western Hemisphere 1834
John Dower. From A New General Atlas of the World. London: Henry Teesdale & Co., 1834. Folio. Engravings by J. Dower. Original outline color. Very good condition.

Two maps of the Western Hemisphere by British cartographer John Dower. Though other countries, including the United States, had by then developed cartographic industries of considerable quality, British map publishers were still the best in the world. These maps are typical of their output, with clear and precise engraving depicting copious up-to-date information. Towns, rivers, roads, political boundaries and topography are shown throughout. The hand coloring, beautifully applied, makes these maps as handsome as they are interesting.

Weiland: North America
Carl Ferdinand Weiland. "Nord America entworfen und gezeichnet." Weimar: Geographischen Instituts, 1837. 22 3/4 x 19 3/4. Engraving. Original color. Small smudge in bottom margin. Else, very good condition.

A large, highly detailed German map of North America. Topography is emphasized by the precise and bold engraving, highlighting the complex ridges and valleys of the Rocky Mountains. Rivers are also shown with some detail; capital cities are noted; and towns are marked according to size (as explained in the key). A color key indicates how to interpret the international borders, with green for Russia lands, red for Danish, yellow for British, red for Danish, pink for the United States, orange for Mexican, green for Guatamalan, and blue for French territories. Since Weiland's 1820 map of North America, the Canadian-American border had become slightly more defined along the 49th parallel, though it still lacked the final delineation, which would be determined by Polk's controversial 1846 compromise with the British. In the lower lefthand corner, an inset details the Aleutian Islands. An impressive document both cartographically and aesthetically. $700

Carl Flemming. "Nord America." Glogau, Germany: C. Flemming, 1848.12 1/8 x 16. Lithograph by C. Flemming. Original outline color. One small spot in map and minor marginal staining. Overall, very good condition.

Carl Flemming was the founder of an important German firm located in Berlin and Glogau and this map shows characteristic German detail. The focus of the map is on the topography and political situation in the continent. The Rocky Mountain chain is graphically, and somewhat confusedly, depicted, showing the Great Basin in the American southwest with no interior information. This map is an updated version of his 1844 edition which showed Texas as an independent republic and the American southwest still as part of Mexico; this map shows the situation after the Mexican-American War. $425

Cowperthwait: North America 1855
"Map of North America." Philadelphia: Thomas, Cowperthwait & Co., 1855. 15 1/2 x 12 7/8. Lithographic transfer from engraved plate. Original hand-coloring. Narrow margin at left due to original binding, else very good condition.

A strong and beautifully crafted map from the mid-nineteenth century, published by Thomas, Cowperthwait & Co. This firm took over the publication of S. Augustus Mitchell's important Universal Atlas in 1850, and they continued to produce up-dated maps that were amongst the best issued in the period. This map issued early in 1855, for instance, is one of the first to show the Nebraska and Kansas Territories that had been formed from the Missouri Territory and some of the Indian Territory in May, 1854. The map has a striking appearance, with warm hand coloring that well complements the clear presentation. For its fascinating detail and decorative appeal, this is an excellent view of the period. $225


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