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Antique Maps of regions of North America
from the 18th Century
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Bonne: Eastern US
Rigobert Bonne. "Les États Unis de l'Amérique Septentrionale, Partie Orientale." Paris, ca. 1770s. 13 1/2 x 9 1/4 plus full margins. No. 117 from an atlas. Engraving by André. Very good condition.

Rigobert Bonne (1727-95) 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 is a good example of his work, including precisely drawn coastal profiles and details, and considerable inland information on orography, rivers, towns, and political boundaries. $250

Fry, Jefferson, Virginia, Maryland
Joshua Fry and Peter Jefferson. "A Map of the most Inhabited Part of Virginia containing the whole Province of Maryland...Drawn by Joshua Fry & Peter Jefferson in 1775." London: Sayer & Jefferys, 1775. Four sheets joined, ca. 30 5/8 x 48. Engraving. Original outline color. Excellent condition. Stevens & Tree, 87, f.

One of the most famous of American maps, and the finest eighteenth century map of Virginia and Maryland. The map was commissioned by the English Lords of Trade as part of the comprehensive mapping of the British colonies undertaken in the middle of the eighteenth century. The surveyors were Peter Jefferson, Thomas' father, and Joshua Fry, a mathematician at the College of William and Mary and Thomas Jefferson's tutor, who had already taken a number of important surveying commissions in Virginia. The map was based on their own surveys of the interior together with other first-hand information. Fry and Jefferson finished their map in 1751 and then revised it a few years later to incorporate information from John Dalrymple and others concerning the western part of the colony. The resulting map was by the far the best of Virginia to date and the first to accurately map beyond the Chesapeake Bay region and into the Appalachian mountains. 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. Not only was it the first map to show the western parts of the colony, but it was the first to depict the road system in the colony. In the lower right is a lovely title cartouche showing a harbor scene on the Chesapeake and a tobacco warehouse, a vignette that has earned its own place in American iconography.

Though dated in the map 1751-the date the manuscript was finished-the first issue of the map was probably published about 1753 and was titled "A Map of the Inhabited part of Virginia…" It is exceedingly rare, with only a few complete copies known to exist. It was shortly after this issue that Fry and Jefferson updated the depiction of the western parts of the map, making a number of changes to produce what they called the "second edition" of 1755. This second edition was actually the fourth state, with two other intermediary states showing different stages in the modification of the geographic rendering on the map, as well as the change of the title to now read "A Map of the most Inhabited part of Virginia" (emphasis added). No more geographic changes were made, but the map went through four more editions with the date changed to 1768, 1775, 1782, and finally 1794. The issue of 1775, of which this is a fine example, was published for Thomas Jefferys' important America Atlas, which contained examples of the many great maps of the American colonies that resulted from the mid-century mapping undertaken by the British. $40,000

Samuel Holland. "The Provinces of New York, and New Jersey; with part of Pensilvania, and the Governments of Trois Rivieres and Montreal." London: R. Sayer & T. Jefferys, 1775. Separately issued "saddle bag" map: dissected into 16 sections, newly backed onto buckram and folded into modern, hand-made carry case. 54 x 21 1/4. Original outline hand color. Paper age toned and with a few chips and stains. Overall, very good condition. Stevens & Tree, 44b.

An unusual, elongated map by Capt. Samuel Holland, the first Surveyor General for the Northern District of British North America. It shows from the entrance of the Delaware Bay to Quebec, with special emphasis on eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and both sides of the Hudson River, up Lake Champlain and then up the Richelieu River to the Saint Lawrance. Holland was a Dutch military engineer in the British army and a fine draftsman; he was appointed by the King as the first Surveyor General for the northern region. It contains impressive detail of towns, roads, rivers and mountains. In the lower right corner is an especially fine title cartouche depicting a scene of the Hudson River at the `Topan Sea' (present-day Tapanzee). This view was taken from Thomas Pownall's print published in the Scenographia Americana, with the cliff face used for the title information. This is a excellent example of an important American map. $5,200

Le Rouge: Delaware Bay
Joshua Fisher. "Baye De La Delaware." Paris: George Louis le Rouge, 1778. First state. 18 1/4 x 25. Engraving. Full margins. Strong strike on heavy paper. Excellent condition. Snyder: 265e.

The first chart of the Delaware Bay was made in 1756 by Joshua Fisher, a former hatter from Lewes. It showed the lower part of the bay and was intended to be used as a navigational aid for ships sailing toward Philadelphia. In 1775, Fisher produced an expanded chart that showed the bay and the Delaware River to just beyond Philadelphia. This was the most important map of the bay and river in the eighteenth century, and it went through many different versions, of which this is the first French version. In 1778, the French were allied with the Americans against the British, and much of their assistance took the form of naval support. Therefore it is not surprising that the French would issue their own version of the best available chart of the approaches to Philadelphia. The map is oriented to the west so that Philadelphia lies at the far right, and Cape Henlopen at the far left. Navigational information is copious in the bay, and the main shipping lane is indicated to Philadelphia, with depths indicated along it. A list of Pilots and Masters of Vessels attesting to the accuracy of the chart in included. Reflecting its source, most names appear in English, though Le Rouge has added a number of French translations. A superior chart of the approaches to Philadelphia at the beginning of the American Revolution. $2,600

Lodge: North America
John Lodge. "A General Map of North America; from the Latest Observations." London, 1778. 10 3/4 x 15 (platemarks). Old folds; complete. McCorkle, New England in Early Printed Maps, 776.15. Imprint recognizes that this second printing uses Thomas Jefferys' 1776 plate with revisions. An extensive table of distances is in the bottom right corner.

This map retains copious information about political governance in North America from the entrance to the Saint Laurence River to present-day southern Texas. Separating French and English lands is a dotted line that runs from the coast of West Florida extending through to northern New England. Much information is present, and much of it did not remain in use, but the scope of this mapmaker's vision is amazing for the times. The map appeared in a number of publications just as the American Revolution was heating up. $850

Russell: Midatlantic
William Russell. "An Exact Map of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Maryland and Virginia from the latest Surveys." From The History of North America. London: W. Russell, 1778. 7 1/2 x 9 5/8. Engraving by J. Lodge. Hand color. Mat burn in margins. Else, very good condition.

A fine map issued in London during the Revolutionary war depicts the Mid-Atlantic region from New York City south to the Chesapeake Bay. The Allegheny Mountains are shown including southeastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, eastern Maryland and Virginia. Interestingly, the boundaries of Delaware are shown but the name does not appear on the map. $650

Russell: Quebec, New England & New York
"An Exact Map of the Province of Quebec with Part of New York & New England from the Latest Surveys." From W. Russell's History of North America. London: W. Russell, 1778.8 x 10 1/2. Engraving by J. Lodge. Excellent condition.

A very interesting map of the region that was the site of significant action during the American Revolution. The St. Lawrence River is shown from Montreal to the beginning of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, with Quebec situated astride its middle. To the south of the St. Lawrence, west of Nova Scotia, the "Territory of Sagadahock" is shown in what is today mostly Maine. Northern Vermont and New Hampshire are shown (identified here only as New England), as is the upper part of Lake Champlain. This area saw considerable activity during the war, including the expeditions against Quebec by Arnold and Montgomery and the British attacked down the Lake Champlain valley under Burgoyne. This region remained at the center of conflict between the Americans and Canadians for years, as the border of Maine and Canada wasn't finally settled until 1842. $350

Antonio Zatta. Venice: A. Zatta, 1778. 12 1/2 x 16 3/4. Engravings. Original outline color. Very good condition.

From Zatta's twelve sheet map of North America based upon Mitchell's multi-sheet map from the mid-eighteenth century. Mitchell's map was a seminal document in the history of the mapping of North America, and thus there was a great demand for its information. Zatta issued his version in order to help meet that demand, and like Mitchell's original, Zatta's map is filled with current, detailed, and fascinating cartography. The data was received from trappers, settlers, explorers, and soldiers who mostly traveled by water, and thus it is that the most accurate and detailed information is of lakes and rivers, and of the areas along their banks and shores. Zatta includes details of the locations of Indian tribes, settlements, trade routes, and frontier forts.

Desbarres: Delaware River
Joseph Frederick Wallet DesBarres. "A Chart of Delawar [sic] River from Bombay Hook to Ridley Creek, with soundings &c. taken by Lt. Knight of the Navy . . ." with a second panel entitled "A Plan of Delawar [sic] River from Chester to Philadelphia. Shewing the Situation of His Majesty's Ships &c on the 15th. Novr. 1777 surveyed and sounded by Lieutenant John Hunter of the Navy." Prepared for The Atlantic Neptune. London: Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, 1 June 1779. Etching. 30 1/4 x 21 7/8. Nebenzahl, 136. Sellers & VanEa, 1370; National Maritime Museum Cat.: 320: 130-31; Snyder, 85. This later and mostly complete state has the advantage of showing soundings plus shading to render topography and town plans.

After the French & Indian War, the job of surveying and mapping the American coastline fell upon J.F.W. DesBarres, who had commanded the mapping of the coasts of present-day eastern Canada. The resulting atlas, The Atlantic Neptune, was called by A.P. Loring, "the first great marine atlas of the eastern seaboard." Loring quotes Obadiah Rich who called it, "the most splendid collection of charts, plans and views ever published." This is an excellent example of the maps from this important atlas.

It is a chart of the Delaware River to as far as Philadelphia in two panels. As stated on the chart, it was "Composed and Published for the use of Pilotage by J.F.W. DesBarres Esqr," so the focus of detail is on the nature of the river itself. The coastline, mouths of creeks, shoals and sand bars, and soundings are shown with careful precision, and rhumb lines are used to help with navigation of a ship up this relatively narrow river. Inland information is sparse because it is limited to that which was visible sight from navigable waters. An occasional higher elevation is shown and a basic town plans for New Castle, Chester, and Philadelphia are present. Conventional symbols for swamps and waterways are shown for as much as a few miles inland in places. In the inset map showing from Chester to Philadelphia shows the situation of the British ships off Philadelphia in mid-November, 1777. $7,500

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