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Antique Maps of North America
from the 18th Century

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[ 18th century regional American maps | 19th century maps of North America ]


North America
Emanuel Bowen. "An Accurate Map of North America Drawn from the Best Authorities." London, ca 1755. 6 5/8 x 8 5/8. Engraving. Hand color. With folds as issued. Very good condition. Not listed in Phillips.

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. $325

Bolton: North America
Solomon Bolton after Jean Baptiste Bourguignon d'Anville. "North America. Performed under the patronage of Louis Duke of Orleans, First Prince of the Blood, by the Sieur d'Anville. Greatly improved by Mr. Bolton. Engrav'd by R. W. Seale. From 'Mr. Postlethwayte's dictionary of trade &? commerce.'" London: Malachy Postlethwayt, 1763. 17 1/2 x 22 1/2. With minor staining. Else, very good condition.

This map is the northeast sheet of the second edition of a striking four-sheet map of North and Central America with the West Indies, with updated information based on the 1763 Treaty of Paris. It is very detailed with towns, cities, forts, Indian villages and tribal territories in the interior, and shoals, banks and navigational hazards offshore. The map is based on D'Anville's map of 1746 with several notable "additions and improvements." To the left of the decorative title cartouche, which includes a female figure representing America and several putti, is a lengthy notation explaining the holdings of Britain, France and Spain pursuant to the Treaty of Paris in 1763. An extraordinary map beautifully engraved by Richard William Seale, with the cartouche etched by Anthony Walker. $900

North America
Thomas Kitchin. "Map of the European Settlements in North America." From A Philosphical and Political History of the Settlements and Trade of the Europeans in the East and West Indies, by Abbe Raynal. London: T. Cadell, 1776. 12 3/4 x 9 3/8. Engraving. Hand color. Old repaired tear right hand side. With folds as issued. Margin added to right hand side to the neat line. Else, fine condition.

A detailed map by one of the leading English cartographers of the late eighteenth century. Beginning about 1750, the British began to establish themselves as the leading world power, and this is partly reflected in the simultaneous rise to cartographic dominance. Kitchin was one of the most prolific and popular cartographers in the hey-day of British mapmaking, and his maps are noted for their clean engraving and excellent detail. The map shows the eastern part of North America from Greenland to Florida with settlement confined to the eastern seaboard. Indian tribes are named in the Great Lakes region and west. There is a mention of the Northwest Passage with a river supposedly emptying into the Pacific Ocean. A nicely detailed map of North America at the time of the start of Revolutionary War. OUT ON APPROVAL JC

Blondeau: North America
"Amérique Septentrionale." Paris: Alexandre Blondeau, ca. 1790. 7 1/4 x 8 3/4. Engraved by Blondeau. Hand color. With fold as issued. Light mat burn in margins. Else, very good condition.

This small map of North America is an interesting document of a continent still in the process of being explored. The Mississippi River serves as the western boundary of the United States. Several states, cities, rivers, and Indian tribes are named. Out west, Texas is indicated and Santa Fe is the most prominent city to appear. Mythical Teguaio is located near the Colorado River, while Quivira is placed farther north than usual. Just north R. de l'Ouest originates from the Oregon River. The northwest coast of the continent reflects Cook's recent discoveries. JT OUT ON APPROVAL

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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