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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



Zatta NW America
Antonio Zatta. "Nuove Scoperte De' Russi al Nord del Mare del Sud si nell'Asia, che nell'America." Venice: A. Zatta, 1776. 11 7/8 x 15 3/8. Engraving. Original hand color. Framed. Denver.

A very decorative map of the northwestern part of the American continent, as well as the northeastern part of Asia, published in Venice by Antonio Zatta in the late 18th century. This map is of particular interest for its mistaken depiction of the long sought 'Northwest Passage' leading from the Pacific to the Atlantic. The rending here is based on that of Joseph Nicholas Delisle, whose 1752 map accepted the fictional account of Admiral Bartholemew de Fonte. This account was a hoax that appeared in a British magazine in 1708, telling of how this fictional admiral, sailing into a series of rivers and bays in the Columbia River region, met a ship which had sailed there from Hudson's Bay. While simply a hoax perpetrated by the editor of the magazine, James Petiver, it was accepted as fact by Delisle and so appeared on a number of maps, including this one.

Zatta used Delisle's geography based on Russian explorations as well as other sources, and his map is a speculative combination of few accuracies and many mistakes. Alaska, for instance, is shown as a group of islands off the Russian coast, and for good measure, the mythical "rivers of the west" are shown flowing from a large inland sea (Great Salt Lake) all the way to the Pacific. More mythical features include the non-existent land of Quivira, and the supposed colony of 5th century Chinese, "Fou-Sang," near the Columbia River. This "picturesque" geography is nicely matched by a decorative cartouche showing animals not really found in the region, a crocodile, an elephant, an ostrich and a rhinoceros! A most decorative and fascinating mapping of America. $1,100



Fisher: De Sartine Delaware Bay
Joshua Fisher. "Carte de la Baye et Riviere de Delaware." And "Par Ordre de M. de Sartine." Paris: Depot de la Marine, 1778. 23 x 16 1/2 (neat lines). Engraving. Full margins on three sides, but with right margin expertly replaced. Hand color. Snyder: 265f. Delicate French engraving accommodates the map with instructions for mariners.

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 second French version. The French army and navy would have used this map during the American Revolution. The map is oriented to the north so that Philadelphia lies at the top, and Cape May at the right and "Hinlopen" at the bottom margin. $1,100
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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.



Joseph Frederick Wallet DesBarres. "A Chart of Delaware River from Bombay Hook to Ridley Creek" and "A Plan of Delawar [sic] River from Chester to Philadelphia." From The Atlantic Neptune. London: Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, 1 June 1779. Etching. 30 1/4 x 21 7/8. Former folds reinforced and fill in on 4 1/2" at bottom, center. Nebenzahl, 136; Sellers & VanEa, 1370.

The Atlantic Nepture is one of the most important atlases of North America ever published, produced by J.F.W. DesBarres to provide a careful charting of the waters along the British colonies in North America. This is a chart from that atlas, 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. It is one of the rarest and finest charts of the Delaware from any period. $4,750



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