In the 1820's, Anthony Finley produced a series of fine atlases in the then leading American cartographic center, Philadelphia. Finley's work is a good example of the quality that American publishers were beginning to obtain in the early decades of the century. He was very concerned to depict the most up-to-date information possible, and thus his charts present an accurate picture of known mountains and rivers of the world. Elegantly presented, with crisp and clear engraving and very attractive pastel hand shading.
In 1822, Henry Charles Carey and Isaac Lea published their A Complete Historical, Chronological, and Geographical American Atlas. This volume was based on Emmanuel Las Cases' Atlas Historique of 1803, with updated maps and text modified by Carey, a political economist. He considered himself an American foil to John Stuart Mill and the London economists who were proclaimers of "the gloomy science" influenced by Ricardo and Malthus. Instead of preaching overpopulation and degeneration of the human species, Carey illustrated the nations of the western hemisphere through maps that showed an expanding region with ample promise of developing into lands of great new opportunity and growth.
Comparative views from Carey & Lea's Family Cabinet Atlas. Philadelphia: Carey & Lea, 1832. Engravings by P.E. Hamm. Original hand color. Very good condition. Denver.
In 1831, Thomas Starling issued his Family Cabinet Atlas in 12mo format, each small map filled with precise detail. A year later, the Philadelphia firm of Henry Charles Carey and Isaac Lea issued their version of this atlas, "Revised, Corrected and Enlarged." The maps were based on the British atlas, but with the plates re-engraved. These charts contain an impressive amount of detail for such images. Their size and hand color makes them as charming as they are interesting.
An excellent comparative view by the great American cartographer, Henry Schenck Tanner. In 1816, Henry, his brother Benjamin, John Vallance and Francis Kearny formed an engraving firm in Philadelphia. Having had experience at map engraving through his work with John Melish, Tanner conceived of the idea of compiling and publishing an American Atlas, which was begun in 1819 by Tanner, Vallance, Kearny & Co. Soon Tanner took over the project on his own, and thus began his career as cartographic publisher. The American Atlas was a huge success, and this inspired Tanner to produce his Universal Atlas, of more manageable size. This atlas contained excellent maps of all parts of the world. All details are clearly presented, and these include towns, rivers, mountains, and political boundaries. This was a period of great development and change and Tanner's map illustrates this nicely. In 1844, Carey & Hart issued an edition of the Tanner atlas, and the maps were later purchased by S. Augustus Mitchell, and then Thomas, Cowperthwait & Co. Plates from the early Carey & Hart edition are rare and this is a fine example. $175
"Geological Sections of the United States." From John H. Hinton's The History and Topography of the United States of America. Boston, 1843. Steel engraving by James Archer. Very good condition.
A lovely example of a steel engraving from one of the more popular nineteenth century view books, Hinton's History and Topography. This work contained text and numerous illustrations documenting the history and topography of the United States. Hinton used many different artists, all the engravings being made from drawings made on the spot. For their wide coverage, accurate detail, and pleasing appearance, these are amongst the finest small images of early nineteenth century America to be found anywhere. This interesting image shows two geological sections of the US: Northern at 41° North Latitude and Southern at 35° North Latitude. $65
After Henry S. Tanner. "Lengths of the Principal Rivers in the World. Heights of the Principal Mountains in the World." From New Universal Atlas. Philadelphia: S. Augustus Mitchell, 1851. 13 x 16. Lithographic transfer from engraved plate by F. Humphrys. Full original hand color. Decorative border. Paper time toned, else very good condition. Denver.
A strong, finely crafted comparative view drawn by important American cartographer H.S. Tanner. In 1846, S. Augustus Mitchell, founder of one of the leading U.S. cartographic firms of the period, purchased Tanner's plates and came out with his own edition of the Universal Atlas. This chart from his atlas represents the best available American geographic knowledge of the time. $125
J.H. Colton. "Mountains & Rivers." From Atlas of the World Illustrating Physical & Railroad Geography. New York: J.H. Colton, 1855. 17 3/4 x 25 1/4. Lithograph with highlight color. Decorative border. Narrow margin at bottom as issued. Narrow stain at center fold. Else very good condition. $125
Alexander Keith Johnston. From his Physical Atlas of Natural Phenomena. Edinburgh and London: William Blackwood & Sons, 1856. Ca. 19 1/2 x 23 1/2. Engravings. Original hand color. Very good condition.
A group of fascinating images from an unusual atlas; its focus is neither political nor historical, but on the geographic distributions throughout the world of such objects of scientific endeavor as species, mineral deposits, occurrence of disease, volcanic activity, climactic variation, et al.
Each study is meticulously detailed and attractively depicted. Mid nineteenth century examples of British cartography and scientific observation and interpretation combined.
J.H. Colton. "Comparative Size of Lakes and Islands." With insets: "Lakes in the Western Hemisphere," "Lakes in the Eastern Hemisphere," "Islands in the Eastern Hemisphere," and "Islands in the Western Hemisphere." From Colton's General Atlas. New York: G.W. & C.B. Colton, 1866. 12 3/4 x 15 5/8. Lithograph. Full original hand-coloring. Decorative border. Full margins. Very good condition.
In the mid-nineteenth century, the center of map publishing in America moved from Philadelphia to New York. The Colton publishing firm played a large role in this shift. This chart of comparative views of lakes and islands, with its fine detail, is a strong example of their successful work. $50
"Zoological Chart of the World shewing the Distribution of some of the Principal Members of the Animal Kingdom." / "Chart of the World shewing the Distribution of the Principal Plants." From Black's General Atlas of The World. Edinburgh: A. & C. Black, 1879. Chromolithograph. Very good condition.
A series of precisely detailed maps of the world from one of the leading British mapmaking firms of the second half of the nineteenth century. Adam and Charles Black issued atlases from the 1840s through the 80s, keeping their maps as current as possible. These handsome and informative charts are good examples of their output. $45
"Western Hemisphere." [with] "Comparative Lengths of Rivers of North America," "Comparative Lengths of Rivers of South America," and "Comparative Heights of the Principal Mountains of the Western Hemisphere." From Mitchell's New General Atlas. Philadelphia: S. Augustus Mitchell, Jr. 1880. 14 x 10 1/8. Lithograph. Original hand coloring. Very good condition.
For most of the middle part of the nineteenth century, the firm founded by S. Augustus Mitchell dominated American cartography in output and influence. This fine map of the Western Hemisphere with its comparative views is from one of his son's atlases. $65
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