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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 ]


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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