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Atlases

European Atlases

[ 16th century | 18th century | 19th century | 20th century ]
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16th Century

Sebastian Munster. Cosmographey oder Beschreibung aller Laender, Herrschafften . . .. Basel: Henrichum / Petri, 1564. Folio. Full vellum, blindstamping, over wooden boards. Remains of old leather straps with clasps gone. 4 raised bands. Head and base of spine has old repairs. Maps: 16 double page, 9 single page; Views: 35 double page, 3 fold out; and 1 single page. Numerous text illustrations. Collation: 6 ll., 14 double folio maps, 10 ll. Index, 1,475 pp. plus Petri's printer's colophon. Complete as collated by Sabin 51379. This edition is Sabin 51390. New end pages. A few enumerated flaws: p. 346 map of Sicily torn and half missing; p. 693 foldout view of Worms, Germany, w/ 1" square chip, but with no loss of lines; p. 992 repairs to border of foldout profile of Vienna with slight loss at right neat line. The entire book has some browning and spots throughout as a used copy would. The book is housed in a new archival box which opens out to become a reading stand.

A lovely and always fascinating issue of Munster's classic study of the world. The initial impression of the intricately blind stamped vellum covers is that few have survived with such fine old tooling, covered wooden boards, and remains of clasps. The intricate titlepage is intriguing. A group of initial, woodblock, double-folio maps are as follows:

Each of these maps have enumerated surprising accuracies and delightful inaccuracies. This copy has the complete set of 14 foretext maps called for in Harold L. Ruland's "A Survey of the Double-page Maps in . . . Cosmographia Universalis 1544-1628 of Sebastian Munster . . .." in Imago Mundi XVI: 84-97. The four maps of the then acknowledged continents were first depicted together by Munster as separate entities in this work and in his Geographia Universalis. See: R.V. Tooley Maps and Mapmakers, p. 26. North and South America were considered one continent at this time; however the map is the first to show them as large land masses connected by an isthmus.

Among these maps and larger views are other views, portraits, genre scenes, plants, animals, allegories, and representations of general events in the hundreds.

Moreland and Bannister credit Munster, along with Ortelius and Mercator, as among the three who had the widest influence on spreading geographic knowledge throughout Europe in the Sixteenth century. "His Cosmographia contained not only the latest maps and views of many well-known cities, but included an encyclopaedic amount of detail about the known, and unknown, world and undoubtedly must have been one of the most widely read books of its time, going through nearly forty editions in six languages." Antique Maps. A Collector's Guide, pp. 78-81. $42,500



18th Century

By the eighteenth century, atlas making had become a serious scientific, economic, military, and political process. The leading cartographic nations at this time, France and England, were also the leading world powers and their atlases of the world reflected their universal interests. The British and French atlases contained country and regional maps of great detail, and they set a very high standard for atlas making. In the late eighteenth century, the events in America involving the newly minted United States were of great interest, even though the cartographers did not have access to new surveys or much first hand information. They did have access to the best pre-Revolutionary surveys, and they tried to keep their maps current, especially for political information.


Jeremias Wolff (1663-1724). [Composite Atlas of sixteen double page folio engraved maps, primarily after the works of Guillaume Delisle]. Augsburg, ca. 1720-40. Some spotting and water stains to some maps. This collection of maps was bound after they acquired some flaws. All the maps have full margins. Strong impressions and either outline or full hand coloring to maps. No title page, text or table of contents. Bound in half leather with marbled boards and decorative blank paper label on front board. Tall copy 21". A scarce collection of this cartographer's work. Denver.

The following maps are in this atlas; the overall impression is lovely, but they have some age problems, much of them on the backs (W = water stains; S = spotting):

In the great tradition of German reproductive printing of graphics, this work by Jeremiah Wolff is typical in its strong and clear lines. These are not all the maps published by Wolff, because we have found two others listed in the Antique Map Price Record (XVII): 1983-2002. The ten regional and country maps in this particular composite atlas would show a reader how to approach Eastern Europe from Germany through the northern river system or by way of the Mediterranean Sea. The double hemisphere world map plus five separate continents serve, as often would be the case, as indices to the larger world. $10,000



French Manuscript Map

MANUSCRIPT MAP. "Separation De La Grande Carte." Circa 1760's. 9 1/8 x 3 7/8. Twenty hand drawn and colored maps divided into four chapters. Original leather binding. Very minor wear to outside cover. Otherwise, excellent condition.

A unique and exquisite Eighteenth Century manuscript map. Beautifully bound in gold stamped leather, with marbled paste downs and end papers, the maps are incredibly detailed and depict the provinces of Juliers, Gueldres, Cleves, Cologne, and parts of Liege, Brabant, Utrecht, Holland, Doversel, Munster, La March, Berg, and Westphalia. As with other Eighteenth Century manuscript maps, there is a diversity of symbolization and designs which are typical of the era. The style and nomenclature is similar to, and probably based on, maps by the Delisle and Homann mapmakers of these times. It is scaled in French lieues (leagues), which, at the time, varied from region to region. So, very handily, a comparative scale of English, German, and the Low Countries measurements is also included.

Made for a gentleman for professional or pleasurable purposes, the maps are encased in a slim leather binding, perfect for carrying in an overcoat pocket. A truly magnificent collection of maps. $2,500



Samuel Dunn. A New Atlas of the Mundane System; or, of Geography and Cosmography: Describing The Heavens and the Earth, The Distances, Motions and Magnitudes of the Celestial Bodies: The Various Empires, Kingdoms, States, Republics; and Islands, throughout the Known World. London: R. Sayer & J. Bennett, [1778]-1786. Folio. Full leather with raised bands and gold stamped title. [ Click here for image of cover ] 48 copper engraved maps and charts. Original outline color. Most maps with slight off-setting and some other minor blemishes. Two maps with manuscript notes in margins and on verso; one also discolored and with creases. Otherwise, interior very good condition.

Dunn's New Atlas of the Mundane System [that is, 'system pertaining to the world'], appeared in at least six editions, the last in the early nineteenth century. The atlas was compiled by Samuel Dunn, a man of many talents who described himself on one of his maps as "S. Dunn Teacher of the Mathematicks London. Boards Young Gentlemen, & Teacheth Penmanship, Merch'ts Acc'ts, Navigation, Fortification, Astronomy &c. Chelsea." Dunn's membership in the Philosophical Society "at Philadelphia in America" is an indication of his immersion in the sciences of his day. This atlas contains a general introduction to geography and cosmography, with six celestial plates, and 42 maps of all parts of the world. These maps reflect not only the summation of late eighteenth century knowledge of the earth, but also the inclination and occupations of its author. Dunn's mathematical and pedagogical focus is clear in these highly detailed maps. An excellent atlas and a wonderful paradigm of this era of a scientific approach to the world. $7,200



19th Century

European publishers were at a disadvantage of location with reference to maps of North America. As surveys were made, travelers' reports filtered in, and political decisions were rendered, this North American data was immediately available to American mapmakers, but it would take weeks or more for this information to find its way across the Atlantic. European mapmakers were unable to keep their American maps as current or as accurate as could their counterparts. However, European publishers had many advantages over their American colleagues. Outside of America, Europeans had elaborate networks of trade and information unrivaled by those of the Americans. Also, mapmaking was long-established in Europe, giving publishers access to the finest material and highly skilled craftsmen. Though often somewhat anachronistic in their American depictions, atlases issued in Europe were of superior quality, they were generally better with reference to the rest of the world, and they often introduced important innovations to mapmaking.

Southeastern U.S.
John Cary. Cary's New Universal Atlas. London: J. Cary, 1808. First edition. Rebound with three-quarters leather using the original boards. Some scuffing to boards, but generally a lovely binding. Very large folio; bound full sheet, with no folds. Contents list tipped onto list of subscribers sheet. Complete with 60 engraved map sheets. Original outline hand color. Excellent interior, with only very occasional minor blemishes. Phillips: 714; Rumsey: 1657.

An excellent, full sheet example of John Cary's influential Universal Atlas. Cary, one of the finest of all British mapmakers, maintained the high standards set by his predecessors. Cary was publishing in a time of increased travel and trade, and his maps admirably met the demand for accurate maps of all parts of the world. His maps are particularly noted for their excellent engraving and the details of waterways and roads. For the period, Cary's Universal Atlas provided the best information available on most parts of the world, and indeed it was the source used by a number of American cartographers for their maps of the world and other continents. Cary's maps of America are also interesting partly for the several anachronistic renderings. In this atlas are four maps focusing on the United States. For much of the country the maps are accurate, but there are two obvious mistakes: for the old Northwest Territory and for Georgia. The former encompassed today's Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin. Ohio was the first to be detached as a state in 1803, but Cary's maps, dated 1806, show it as still part of the territory. Georgia originally ran from the Atlantic to the Mississippi, and that is how it is shown on Cary's 1806 maps. However, in 1798, eight years before the Cary maps, the Mississippi Territory (consisting of today's Alabama and Mississippi) was broken off from Georgia. It is possible that Cary either did not have the information on these political developments, or that he didn't think it sufficiently important to warrant a re-engraving of the maps, but it is instructive to compare these depictions with those contained in Mathew Carey's pocket atlas from three years earlier. $10,500
[ Click here for images: cover; United States ]



Johann Georg August Galletti. Allgemeine Weltkunde, oder Geographisch-statistisch-historische Übersichtsblätter aller Länder. Leipzig und Perth: Konrad A. Hartleben, 1818. Oblong folio. Original printed wrappers using blue paper. 108 pages and 26 full page, engraved maps. Some maps have engraving credited to "Fr. Karacs." Stains on covers and some maps. Subtle and useful. As found. Ref.: LeGear, Atlases, 6025.

A fascinating atlas issued through the eyes of Europeans who saw the world as a post-Napoleonic structure designed by the Congress of Vienna. Johann Galletti (1750-1828) issued a number of atlases according to LeGear. The Library of Congress owns one with 20 maps dated 1807-10, and LeGear mentions a 12th. edition printed in 1859. The map of the United States of America shows a very strange shape for Ohio with the rest of the old Northwest Territory labeled "Indiana." Dramatically more information is given for roads and topography in Europe than in Africa, Asia or the Western Hemisphere. Much information interestingly presented. $1,600



North America
Adam Christian Gaspari. Allgemeiner Hand-Atlas der Ganzen Erde. Weimar: Geographis-chen Instituts, [1821]. Large folio. Original three-quarters leather binding with considerable wear, but tight. Ex-library with library stamps mostly removed. Complete with 60 engraved maps. Original outline hand color. With some internal creasing, short tears and spots. Sheets well handled at bottom edges, especially at beginning. Map of world with considerable wear at folded edge and old repaired tear at bottom. Map of Austrian Empire with long tear at bottom centerfold. Overall, interior very good. Philips 3544.

Adam Christian Gaspari (1752-1830) was a geographer and publisher, and one of the editors of the important scientific journal Allgemeine Geographische Ephemeriden. The German scientific community of the early nineteenth century, personified by Humboldt, was determined to publish the latest scientifically acquired information in an accurate and accessible manner. Their atlases, of which this is a fine example, demonstrate this concern with regular updating, very dense yet clearly presented detail, and a strongly scientific (though still attractive) appearance. The amount of first-rate geographic information presented in this atlas of the entire world, mostly drawn by Carl Ferdinand Weiland, is most impressive. A good example of this is his oversized, 1821 map of the United States. The topography, placement of settlements and native tribes, and indication of political divisions is excellent. Of note is the fact that the Arkansas Territory, formed just two years earlier in 1819, is depicted, an interesting contrast with the British atlases above in being up-to-date. $8,750
[ Click here for images: cover; Western Hemisphere ]



Title page
John Dower. A New General Atlas of the World. London: Henry Teesdale & Co., 1835. Small folio. Original three-quarters leather, with some wear in corners and at top and bottom of spine. Tight and intact. Complete with 46 engraved maps. Bright, full original hand color. Overall, excellent condition. Phillips: 772; cf. Rumsey 3326.

The quality of British mapmaking remained superb throughout the first half of the nineteenth century. With skilled craftsmen available, a strong middle-class population with the finances and interest to buy atlases, and an extensive network of information available throughout the growing empire, nineteenth century British atlases were accurate, richly produced, and attractive. This is a fine example from the London firm of Henry Teesdale & Co.. The atlas contains eight maps relating to the Western Hemisphere, including a map of "Mexico and Guatimala" which shows Texas as a political unit of Mexico; this map was made just as the Texas Revolution was getting underway. Also included are four maps of the ancient world and a table of mountains and rivers that was used by H.S. Tanner for his New Universal Atlas. $2,500
[ Click here for images: West Indies; Asia ]



Cover
J.E. Wörl. Atlas über alle Theile der Erde. Carlsruhe & Freiburg, Germany: Herder'sche Verlagsbandlung, 1843. Oblong folio. Original cloth and marbled board binding, with original engraved label. Some minor wear at spine corners. Flyleaf creased. Complete with 28 lithographed maps. Original outline hand color. Library stamp on world map. Maps with foxing throughout. Maps of North America and U.S. show Texas as republic. Cf. Phillips: 6095.

A very rare German atlas by Joseph Edmund Wörl (also Woerl). Its nature as a school atlas is indicated by the running title on most maps, "Woerl's Schul-Atlas." Asia and Africa have one map each, but the European countries are illustrated, including six maps of Germany, and there are separate maps of South America, the West Indies, North America and the United States. These last two maps are of particular interest as each shows Texas as an independent republic. $3,700



Southwest
Verzeichniss und Reihenfolge der Hundert Und Drei Und Zwanzig Karten in Meyer's Zeitungs-Atlas. Hildburghausen, Germany: H. Meyer, 1852. Oblong quarto. Original red half leather with patterned cloth and stamped title. Minor incidental wear to binding. Complete with 123 steel engraved maps. Original outline color. With a few maps age toned and some scattered spotting and stains, but generally interior very good.

The Bibliographisches Institut set up business in Hildburghausen, Germany, in 1828 under the direction of Herrmann Meyer, and it lasted there until 1874, at which time it moved to Leipzig. The firm published a journal, entitled Meyer's Universum, as well as a number of other volumes including this world atlas. The Bibliographisches Institut is known particularly for its finely detailed, steel engraved views and maps, and this atlas is an excellent example of the quality of its output. Each map is very detailed, while the bright outline color adds a decorative element to the atlas. There is a map of the United States and five regional American maps, including a fascinating map of Texas, the southwestern U.S., and northern Mexico. Texas is shown without the panhandle, which here is part of New Mexico. The rest of the American southwest is shown as one territory, with some interesting information-some accurate and some not-, including the brightly marked gold regions around Sacramento. A fine example of mid-nineteenth century German mapping. $2,800
[ Click here for images: title page | Western Hemisphere ]



Universal Handatlas
Heinrich Berghaus. Vollständiger Universal-Handatlas der neueren Erdbeschreibung Über Alle Theile Der Erde in 114 Blättern. Glogau, Germany: Carl Flemming, 1853. Oblong folio. New cloth binding, but with original leather title label. Complete with 114 lithographed maps. Original outline hand color. Manuscript numbering of maps. Maps vary in condition, with most very good, some with some light spotting and paper toning, and about ten with more general spotting and darkening.

This is a nice example of Heinrich Berghaus' 'Complete Universal Atlas' issued in Glogau by German map publisher C. Flemming. Berghaus was a versatile genius who was a geographer, cartographer, author, teacher and pioneer in the field of thematic cartography. He produced the first comprehensive thematic atlas of the world, the Physikalischer Atlas. The maps show the characteristic German dense detail, but are here presented using lithography and in an unfolded format for ease of study. The atlas includes a single-sheet map of the United States and, on a larger scale, a four-sheet map of the country (the southeast quadrant has a keyed list of the states added to the margin in pencil). There are two excellent additional regional American maps, one of the western-most part, from the Rockies to the Pacific, and a large-scale map of Texas, the last issued due to the intense German interest in the state, where many countrymen had emigrated in the preceding decades. $2,850
[ Click here for images: cover | United States | Texas ]



John Bartholomew. Philips' Handy Atlas of the Counties of Ireland. Revised by P.W. Joyce. London: George Philip & Son, [1881]. 12mo. with 33 double page color maps showing Ireland and the baronies of each county, plus index, and advertisements. Gilt decorated green cloth, beveled boards.

The third generation of the Edinburgh based Bartholomew line of geographers, engravers and publishers, John Bartholomew Jr. (1831-1893) was the son of John Bartholomew Sr. (1805-1861) and grandson of George B. Bartholomew (1784-1871).

George Philip (1800–1882) was a cartographer and publisher who in 1834 started his own business in Liverpool producing maps and educational books. His son George (1823–1902) was admitted to the business in 1848, and the firm later opened in London. First producing hand-tinted copper plate maps by cartographers such as the elder John Bartholomew, August Petermann and William Hughes, by the time Philip produced his county maps beginning in 1862, he was using machine colored maps produced on power-driven lithographic presses. The firm also supplied atlases and textbooks overseas, starting with an atlas for Australian schools in 1865 and for New Zealand in 1869. The demand from boarding schools, established after 1870, enabled further expansion in the market for general textbooks, school stationery, atlases and wall maps. $275



20th Century

Paul Marie Joseph Vidal de LaBlache. Histoire et Geographie. Atlas classique. Nouvelle Edition. Paris: Librairie Armand Colin. ca. 1907. Phillips, Atlases, 53. Folio. Original boards and spine. 342 Cartes et Cartons, index alphabetique de 30,000 noms. Wear to spine. Boards have ink/water marks. Corners and edges of boards show normal wear. Interior good.

Paul Vidal LaBlache (1845-1918) is given credit for helping to establish an entire generation of geographers in France. Vidal developed his own approach to geography, focusing on a regional method rather than a systematic one. His view was steeped in chorology. Vidal's efforts came to be known as la tradition vidalienne. His publications included 17 books, 107 articles and 240 reviews and reports. $125



A Leaf from the Mercator-Hondius World Atlas . . . of 1619. Essay by Norman J.W. Thrower. Folio. Fullerton, CA.: Stone & Lorson, 1985, 5ll., 1-25pp. One full folio map in excellent condition tipped in. Limited to 115 copies. In original slip case. Excellent and beautiful.

This exquisite example of printing, paper and binding contains an essay about early geographical atlases, Gerard Mercator, Jodocus Hondius and their successors, and the world atlas that they helped create.

The folio map is of the Italian regions of Ancona and Spoleto with full margins, original color and French text on the back. A lovely example of work from the Mercator-Hondius firm in Amsterdam in 1619. $375



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©The Philadelphia Print Shop, Ltd. Last updated April 19, 2014