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Antique Maps of regions of North America
from the 18th Century


[ Maps of the Western America | 19th century regional maps ]

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Herman Moll. "A Map of Mexico or New Spain Florida now called Louisiana and Part of California &c." From Atlas Geographus: or; A Compleat System of Geography, (Ancient and Modern) For America. London: John Nicholson, 1717. 7 x 10. Very good condition. Framed.

The map is by Herman Moll, who was a Dutch emigré to England after 1680. Moll soon established his own business and became England's most prominent map publisher, his prolific output covered a wide range from loose maps to atlases. His work was highly regarded and often copied due to the quality of detail found in his maps. This map shows North America from just north of the 35th parallel and extends south to encompass all of Central America. Moll includes much detail of settlements and Indian tribes. This area was mostly controlled by the Spanish or French, though a large "Carolina" is shown with "Charles Towne" indicated. $625



Homann: New England
Johann Baptist Homann. "Nova Anglia Septentrionali Americae implantata Anglorumque coloniis florentissima." Nuremberg: J.C. Homann, ca. 1730. Second state. 19 1/4 x 22 7/8. Engraving. Full original hand color. Very good condition. Ref.: McCorkle, 724.1. Speculates that this map appeared as early as 1716. Some paper wrinkles along center fold. Full margins.

While the French and then the English generally dominated the cartographic world in the eighteenth century, the Homann firm from Nuremberg, Germany was producing many influential maps and atlases. The firm was founded about 1702 by Johann Baptist Homann, who was appointed Geographer to the Emperor in 1715. In 1724, upon J.B. Homann's death, the company passed on to his son, Johann Christoph Homann and then to his heirs, who traded under the name of Homann Heirs. This map shows New England, extending from present-day Maine to Philadelphia, is one of the best examples of the Homann output. This is a second state of the map, issued about 1730, with "Sac. Caes. Majest Geographo," added below the title.

The maps by the Homann firm are noted for their striking appearance and this colored map is no exception. Of note is the wonderful baroque title cartouche which embodies European impressions of the New World. A Native American, European trader, native fauna, and various American trading goods are all depicted in this impressive engraving. The map gives much interesting detail on the region, including rivers, lakes, towns, Indian settlements, and an indication of the political divisions such as "New Jork," "Nova Anglia," and west and east New Jersey. Though this information is confidently depicted in a bold manner, much of it is inaccurate. For instance, Lake Champlain is shown directly north of the Connecticut River and a large non-existent lake, "Zuyd Lac," is depicted on the Delaware River north of Philadelphia. The grid plan for this city is crudely indicated, as is the Schuylkill River and Wissahickon Creek. Also of interest is the type of Cape Cod, which is shown as an island. Overall, a wonderful document of the early eighteenth century. $2,300



Guillaume Delisle. "Carte Du Canada ou de la Nouvelle France." Amsterdam: Jean Covens & Corneille Mortier, ca. 1730. 19 1/8 x 22 1/2. Engraving. Hand color. Some paper toning and mottling. Otherwise, very good condition.

An attractively colored example of Delisle's famous map of the Great Lakes and Canada. The map was first issued in 1703, and this example was issued not too long after in Amsterdam. This map is a important example of Delisle's work, seminal in the history of the mapping of America exactly because of his pioneering method and attitude. It was based on years of research, using all the latest reports of travels, explorations and surveys in the region. Delisle was particularly well placed with respect to gathering information on North America, for with his connections in the French court, especially within the Ministry of Marine, he had access to all the official and unofficial reports coming out of New France. It is not surprising, then, given Delisle's method and connections, that this map is so important in the cartographic history of the continent. The depiction of the Great Lakes is a landmark in the history of their mapping, superior to the previous renderings by Sanson and Coronelli. This map is a "mother map" of both Canada and the Great Lakes. Such was its importance that it continued to be published for the rest of the century. The wonderful baroque title cartouche adds a final flourish to the map, showing natives, flora and fauna, and explorers of the New World. $1,200



Bowen Southeast
Emanuel Bowen after Henry Popple. "A New & Accurate Map of the Provinces of North & South Carolina Georgia &c. Drawn from late Surveys and regulated by Astron Observat. By Eman. Bowen." From A Complete System of Geography. London: E. Bowen, 1747. Engraving. 13 5/8 x 16 3/4. Very good condition.

Emanuel Bowen was a map engraver, printer and publisher in London in the mid-eighteenth century. He achieved considerable success in this field, being appointed as engraver to both Louis XV of France and George II of Britain, and later as Geographer to the latter. He produced some of the most interesting maps of his time. Despite his royal appointments and apparent success, Bowen died in poverty in 1767. 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 nicely detailed map of the "Provinces" of North and South Carolina and Georgia. This map is a reduced version of the southeastern sheet from Henry Popple's important map of North America (1733). It extends from the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay to St. Augustine, and stopping just short of Mobile Bay in the west. The detail is most impressive, with rivers, European and Native American settlements, and an indication of the Appalachian Mountains. In what would become Tennessee is a note of the "Charokee Indians." A rare and interesting map of the southeastern part of the British colonies from just before the French & Indian War. $1,350



Bowen Georgia
Emanuel Bowen. "A New Map of Georgia with Part of Carolina, Florida and Louisiana." From John Harris' Complete Collection of Voyages and Travels. London, 1748. 14 1/4 x 18 3/4. Engraving. Very good condition. Cummings: 267. Denver.

This map is the first map to focus just on the colony of Georgia, extending from the Atlantic seaboard to the Mississippi River (actually Bowen has the "G" of "Georgia" on the west side of the Mississippi, implying that the colony extended even further). This map was included in John Harris' Voyages which was first issued in 1705. In the 1744-48 edition of this multi-volume work, Harris added a chapter on the history of Georgia and this map was included as part of that chapter. The map is wonderfully work, with copious accurate information. Towns and forts along the Carolina, Georgia, and Florida Atlantic coasts are shown, as are the few settlements in Mobile Bay and along the Mississippi River. The interior of the colony is mostly taken up with Indian tribes and towns, and the very early trading routes are indicated. This is a seminal map of the American southeast, both attractive and fascinating. $5,250



Joshua Fry and Peter Jefferson. "Carte De La Virginie et Du Maryland." Paris: Gilles Robert De Vaugondy, 1755. 19 x 25 1/4. Engraving by E[lizabeth]. Haussard. Original outline color. Slight spotting and petite chips at extremities. Very good condition and impression. The strongest strike we have seen. Pedley: 470, state 1.

The first state of Robert De Vaugondy's French edition of the Fry-Jefferson map of Virginia and Maryland. This is one of the most famous of American maps, and the finest eighteenth century map of these states. Commissioned by the colonial government of Virginia, this is the first accurate map of the colony beyond the Chesapeake Bay region and into the Appalachian mountains. Joshua Fry, Thomas Jefferson's tutor, and Peter Jefferson, Thomas' father, based the map on their own surveys of the interior together with other first-hand information, producing a superior map that extends from the Chesapeake in the east to beyond the mountains in the west. This map was thus a watershed in the history of the mapping of Virginia and remained the prototype for the region for the second half of the century. The first edition of this map was published in London in 1751 in a very large size. Its impact was greatly increased by this reduced French edition, which came out a mere four years after the first English edition. In fact, it is said that Thomas Jefferson hung the smaller version at Monticello as the English copy of his father's map was too large. The map shows excellent topographical information from Delaware through western Virginia, presenting the development, transportation and economic potential of the mid-Atlantic English colonies in a wonderfully graphic manner. $4,200



Lotter: PA, NJ & NY  1756+
Tobias Conrad Lotter. "Pensylvania Nova Jersey et Nova York Cum Regionibus Ad Fluvium Delaware In America Sitis, Nova Delineatione ob oculos posita per Tob. Conr. Lotter Geographum Aug. Vind." Augsburg: T.C. Lotter, 1756-1774. 22 x 20. Engraving. Light hand color. Strong impression. Although conserved it has light scattered stains, especially at bottom right corner. Else, good condition. Full margins.

A wonderful yet misunderstood map of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and southeastern New York, based upon Lewis Evans' map of 1749, one of the first and most important maps on the region. Evans mapping was the first really accurate and descriptive map of the mid-Atlantic regions to include good interior information. While this map has an almost humorous appearance, lending it a great visual appeal, it very closely copies Evans’ information. The regions not mapped by Evans are inaccurate on Lotter's map, but the central part of the map directly reflects Evans' data, making this one of the most accurate portrayals of that area to the time. This German version, initially issued by Lotter's father-in-law, Matthew Seutter, shortly after the publication of Evans' map, would have had a great impact on the European conception of these British colonies, for Seutter and Lotter enjoyed a wider circulation than Evans. This map, then, illustrates the view many Europeans had of this important region at the beginning of the American Revolution.

Along with its cartographic importance, the map has a wonderful visual appeal. The elaborate rococo title cartouche in the upper left presents an idyllic picture of the New World, illustrating American flora and fauna and showing peaceful natives showing-off the fecundity of their world to a prosperous looking European. One of the most salient visual aspects of the map is its crude depiction of rivers and mountains. Adding to the appeal of the map is its obviously distorted picture of New England, squeezed into the available space so that the entire region, including Cape Cod, fit into an area narrower than New Jersey. This distortion is to achieve relative direction. Overall, this is a decorative and historic, though misunderstood, document worthy of any collection. Ref.: J.W. Docktor, "Seutter/Lotter Map of Pensylvania Nova Jersey et Nova York," The Portolan (Winter, 1993): 12-19. $2,200



Bellin: Louisiana et pays voisins
Jacques Nicolas Bellin. "Carte de la Louisiane, et Pays Voisins." From Prevost d'Exiles' Histoire Generale des Voiages. Paris: Chez Didot, 1757. Engraving. 8 5/8 x 11 7/8. Very good condition.

From about 1650 to the middle of the eighteenth century, the French dominated the cartographic world, with their fine, scientifically based maps. These maps were particularly outstanding and significant for the northern interior of North America. This vast, forested region was explored throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries by French trappers, traders and missionaries. The information from their explorations was relayed back to Paris, where it was used by the great French cartographers to compile the finest maps of the region produced to that time.

Nicolas Bellin (1703-72), Hydrographer to the King of France, was one of the best French cartographers of the later period. His maps of North America were detailed and generally contained the latest information available. This map is somewhat anachronistic, for about the same time the British were beginning to come out with maps based on their surveys of the interior of the continent, but this map does present the French understanding of their American possessions just before they lost vast territories to the British in the French & Indian War, during which it was issued. It can be seen as a cartographic statement of French claims to the vast middle of the continent, extending from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico, and from the Appalachians to the Rocky Mountains. Bellin notes all major river systems, especially the Mississippi system upon which their claims rested, and many of the French forts, including Detroit, Fort Duquesne (Pittsburgh), Fort de la Presque Isle (Erie), Sandoske, and Fort "Checagou." This is a wonderful document from the period. $675



Bellin: Carolina and Georgia
Jacques Nicolas Bellin. "Carte de la Caroline et Georgie." Paris, 1757. 7 1/2 x 11 1/4. Engraving. Hand color. Very good condition.

Nicolas Bellin was the Hydrographer to the King of France. From about 1650 to 1750, the French dominated the cartographic world, with their fine, scientifically based maps, elegantly engraved and precisely detailed. Bellin (1703-72) was one of the best in the later period. This map shows the American southeast from southern Virginia to northern Florida. Information includes rivers, lakes, and orographic detail. Especially interesting is the detail of early forts and settlements, both European and Native American. As is to be expected from a hydrographer, coastal and riparian detail is especially copious. A nice mid-eighteenth century map of the region. $525



Bellin: Boston
Maps by Jacques Nicolas Bellin. From Le Petit Atlas Maritime. Paris, 1764. Engravings. Original hand color. Full margins. Excellent condition.

From about 1650 to 1750, the French dominated the cartographic world, with their fine, scientifically based maps. Jacques Nicolas Bellin (1703-72), Hydrographer to the King of France, was one of the best French cartographers of the later period. His specialty were marine and coastal maps and his famous Petit Atlas Maritime contained small but detailed charts of coasts and coastal cities around the world, including a series of fascinating American maps.



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