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Antique Maps of North America
from the 18th Century

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Moll: Cod Fish Map
Herman Moll. "To the Right Honourable John Lord Sommers...This Map of North America according to ye Newest and most Exact observations." London: H. Moll, ca. 1715. 22 3/4 x 38. Engraving. Outline color. Full margins. Very good condition.

One of Moll's impressive, very large maps issued at the beginning of the eighteenth century. This map shows North America as it was known at the time. Detail of rivers, lakes, cities, and so forth is excellent. The map is quite accurate in parts, but it is for its myriad geographic myths that the map is most interesting. To the north, Moll is quite conservative in showing the long-sought-for Northwest Passage, indicating that Hudson's Bay did not have an opening to the west and only showing the entrance of the postulated Straits of Anian. Moll is not so accurate in the middle part of the continent, where he shows Baron Lahontan's mythical geography of the Long River and the lake and river of the Mozeemleck Indians. Even more prominently Moll shows California as an island, a cartographic error that lasted over 100 years. These geographic features are nicely complimented by the large, decorative cartouches that appear above the ten inset detail maps. The title cartouche is elaborately drawn showing native Indians including an Eskimo family. Below this is an engraved view of a Cod production plant on Newfoundland. An historically and decoratively wonderful map by one of the leading cartographers of his day. JC OUT ON APPROVAL

Tobias Conrad Lotter after Guillaume Delisle. "America Septentrionalis." Augsburg: M.A. Lotter, ca. 1750.17 7/8 x 22. Engraving. Original hand color. Trimmed within neat lines. Else, very good condition.

A decorative German map showing North America in the middle of the eighteenth century. The map was published by Tobias Conrad Lotter, one of the leading German cartographers of the mid-eighteenth century. His maps are noted for their bold and colorful appearance, and this map is no exception. The map is based on a map by Guillaume Delisle, the "father of scientific cartography," who was the greatest cartographer at the beginning of the century. The entire continent is depicted, though no information is given in the northwest part. This is because Delisle mapped only places for which he had accurate, first-hand information, and none was available of this region. Topographical detail includes rivers, lakes and towns, with some indication of orography. Politically the map is of considerable interest. The British colonies are shown extending to the Mississippi River, and the name "Georgia" actually extends well west of the river. Though Delisle was very concerned about showing only accurate information, the mythical "Quivira" is shown in the great plains and Delisle doesn't make a commitment one way or the other concerning the issue of California as being an island or a peninsula. Lotter has added his own aesthetic finish to the Delisle cartographic information with a decorative title cartouche. This and the bright, original hand color make this map as decorative as it is historic. $850

Reid: North America
John Reid. "A General Map of North America drawn from the best surveys 1795." From American Atlas. New York: John Reid, 1796. State 2. Engraving by [John] Scoles. 14 1/4 x 18. Light outline color. Very good condition. Wheat & Brun: 57.

This fascinating map of North America on an equal-area projection depicts from the Bering Straits and Baffin's Bay in the north to present-day Honduras and the entire West Indies in the south. The United States is shown containing fifteen states with a dotted line paralleling the Mississippi River denoting the western boundaries. Very little information is given to the vast area that would soon be the Louisiana Purchase, while the Spanish possessions labeled "New Mexico" and "New Spain" are well documented. The border between Canada and New England is vague. The map was prepared originally for John Reid's American Atlas which accompanied William Winterbotham's History of America. $750

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