One of the most desirable of all Dutch maps from the sixteenth century, Abraham Ortelius' famous map of Iceland. It was issued in 'the first modern atlas,' Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, ('Theater of the World'). The publication of this atlas marked an epoch in the history of cartography, for it is the first uniform and systematic collection of maps of the whole world based only on contemporary knowledge since the days of Ptolemy. In the sixteenth century there was a great increase in interest in maps and charts, and Ortelius, as a businessman with a passion for history and cartography, was at the forefront in meeting this demand. Through his collecting and his antiques business, Ortelius was able to research contemporary maps, becoming the greatest expert of his day in the bibliography of maps. Ortelius based his work on the best maps available, drawing all the maps himself with the celebrated Frans Hogenberg cutting most of the plates. Unlike other atlas-makers, Ortelius cited the authors of the original maps from which he compiled his work. Thus it is not only for his unprecedented achievement in issuing the first modern atlas, but also for his thoughtful and rigorous methodology, that Ortelius belongs amongst the first rank of cartographers. He is very aptly called 'the father of modern cartography.'
This map of Iceland is one of Ortelius' most famous maps because it is as decorative as any map issued in the sixteenth century, or for that matter, ever. It shows the volcano Mt. Hekla erupting, a herd of polar bears on ice floes, and sea monsters teeming in the surrounding waters. These are identified on the verso of the map, making this a contemporary compendium of "known" sea monsters (cf. accompanying sheet). $9,500
J.H. Young. "Mitchell's Reference and Distance Map of the United States." Philadelphia: S. Augustus Mitchell, 1846. Wall map; mounted on linen, varnished and with original rollers. 55 1/2 x 70 1/2. Engraving. Full original hand color. With some waterstaining and flaking at top, but else very good. Rumsey: 538. Denver.
A rare example of the important 1846 edition of S. Augustus Mitchell's popular wall map of the United States, drawn by J.H. Young. The "Reference and Distance Map" series began in 1834 and Mitchell regularly updated the new issues with current information. The main map shows the United States to the range of states just west of the Mississippi with great detail. Towns, rivers, lakes, and roads are shown throughout, and each county is colored in a contrasting shade. The particular significance of the map issued in 1846 comes from its inclusion of new information related to the American west. In the previous editions of this map, Mitchell had an inset map, "General Map of the United States," in the lower right corner. On this edition, Mitchell replaced this with a new inset map, "A New Map of Texas, Oregon and California" (19 x 21), which shows the region extending from the Mississippi to the Pacific coastline, and from the Rio Grande to southern Canada.
This area was of particular interest in 1846 because of two recent, related events. In 1845, Texas had been admitted to the Union as a new state, which prompted Mexico, in 1846, to invade Texas, thus precipitating the Mexican-American war. This inset was the first appearance of this map, which later the same year was issued by Mitchell as a folding, pocket map, and it is one of the first maps of just the Trans-Mississippi West. Mitchell used the latest information on the American west which was available at the time. Among his sources were Arrowsmith's 1841 map of Texas, Fremont's and Emory's maps of their explorations in the region, data from the Lewis & Clark expedition, Nicollet's map of the region between the Mississippi and the Missouri, Wilkes' map of Oregon. Mitchell shows the Oregon Territory borders according to the recent Compromise of 1846. $8,500
Alexander de Humboldt. "Carte Generale Du Royaume De La Nouvelle Espagne." Paris,: A. de Humboldt, 1809. Two sheets joined: 39 1/4 x 27 3/8. Engraving by Barriere, script by L. Aubert pere. Hand colored. Very good condition. Cf. Martin & Martin: 23; Wheat: 272. Denver.
The 'mother map' for New Spain at the beginning of the nineteenth century, by Alexander von Humboldt. Humboldt (1769-1859) was one of the greatest scientific explorers of all time. At the end of the eighteenth century, he received permission to visit and explore the Spanish territories in the Americas, a region mostly unknown in Europe at the time. Humboldt traveled from Venezuela to Mexico, recording his observations and discoveries. He settled in Mexico City for about a year, gathering all available information. As a world renowned scientist, Humboldt had Royal patronage and so access to every document in the Spanish archives in Mexico, hitherto inaccessible to Europeans. With all these resources, Humboldt was able to produce a number of excellent maps, including this one of New Spain, which contains not only today's Mexico, but all of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado and Nevada, and parts of surrounding states. This map contained by far the best geographic depiction of the region to the time.
This map, which Carl Wheat called a "truly magnificent cartographic achievement," was drawn by Humboldt in 1803-1804 in Mexico and then was revised and printed in 1809, appearing in Humboldt's atlas of 1811. The map was ground-breaking in its accuracy and detail: as Wheat further stated, "For the area of the American West which it included it was undoubtedly the most important and most accurate map that had yet appeared." It became the prototype rendering for the region for the next several decades and was considered by Streeter to be one of the six most important maps for a Texas collection. Interestingly, Humboldt left a copy of his map in Washington on his return to Europe, and he felt that this was the source for the copies of his mapping, by Arrowsmith and Pike, which appeared even before his map was official published. $17,500
F.W. von Egloffstein after surveys by John N. Macomb. "Map of Explorations and Surveys in New Mexico and Utah...by Capt. J.N. Macomb Topl. Engrs....1806." New York: Geographical Institute, 1864. 30 3/4 x 37 1/4. Tinted aquatint engraving. Some separation and very light discoloration at folds. Overall, very good condition. Wheat: 983. Denver.
A nice example of what Carl Wheat called "one of the most beautiful maps ever published by the Army," a map that "is a landmark map for various regions." It shows the region around the "four corners" in the American Southwest, based on surveys from an 1860 expedition led by Captain John N. Macomb to explore the Old Spanish Trail from New Mexico towards Utah. The expedition is important in its confirmation that the Green and "Grand" (now Colorado) Rivers joined to form the Colorado just above the Grand Canyon. The map was printed in 1864, but didn't actually get published until 1875 because of the Civil War.
Wheat's comments on its importance is not only based on its geographical significance, but also because of its documentation of the routes of various explorer's routes, including Macomb's as well as those of Gunnison, Marcy, and Father Escalante and others. The last factor in Wheat's judgments is it striking appearance, where it looks almost three dimensional. This is the result of a technique of depicting topography developed by F.W. Egloffstein, where his intent was to "give his map the appearance of a small plaster model of the country." This was achieved by applying very fine lines on the plate by use of a ruling machine (done by Samuel Sartain), which were then exposed to acid to varying degrees to achieve the desired appearance. Only a few maps where made using this difficult process and this is the finest example thereof. The map is a wonderful depiction of the main drainage areas of the American Southwest, as well as many other features such as pueblos, archaeological sites and settlements, all conveyed with a remarkable appearance that few other maps have every matched. $1,800
Herman Moll. "A New Map of the North Parts of America claimed by France..." London: H. Moll, 1720. 23 7/8 x 40 1/4. Engraving. Original outline color. With some wear along left fold; expertly conserved. Else, very good condition. Denver.
Herman Moll, a Dutch émigré to England after 1680, established his own business and became England's most prominent map publisher. This map of North America was of great significance in the cartographic war waged between France and England at a critical time in the struggle for empire on the continent. Moll used it to respond to Guillaume Delisle's 1718 map, which proved to be a powerful statement for French claims west of the Alleghenies and even in Carolina. Moll notes in the title cartouche of his map that he is inserting the French boundary delineations so that "Noblemen, Gentlemen, Merchants &c. who are interested in our Plantations in those Parts" could come to their own conclusions regarding these French "Incroachments" on the English lands and those of their Cherokee and Iroquois Indian allies.
Still, Moll admits his dependence upon Delisle's map for much of his geographic information, particularly in the southwest and lower Mississippi Valley regions. But Moll had other sources for the southeast, especially an unsigned and undated manuscript map notable for its accurate depiction of the Carolina back country. This manuscript, possibly by the "Mr. Berisford" mentioned in the title cartouche, gave Moll valuable information on Indian tribes, trading routes, Spanish, French and English forts and settlements, rivers, etc., that is found on no other printed map. Moll includes a few interesting comments in the region that is today Texas, stating "Many Nations on ye heads of this Branches who use Horses and Trade with the French and Spanjards."
Moll has added a beautiful baroque cartouche in which he dedicates the map to Thomas Bromsall. There are insets of Annapolis Harbor and the mouths of the Mississippi and Mobile Rivers, as well as an attractively engraved inset of "The Indian Fort Sasquesahanok," located, according to Moll, 30 miles west of Philadelphia. That location, he points out, marked a political boundary between French and English possessions on the Delisle map of 1718. For its political importance in the cartographic war between the European powers in the New World, for its wealth of information on geographical and settlement features, and for its strong decorative appeal, this map is an important historical document and a true collector's item. $6,500
George H.V. Collot. "Plan of the Town of Pittsburgh." From Georges H.V. Collot's A Voyages dans l'Amerique Septentrionale. Paris, 1826. 7 1/2 x 11. Engraving by Antoine Francois Tardieu. Lined with linen. Very good condition.
An important and rare map of Pittsburgh drawn in 1796, showing the nascent city and forts located at the conjunction of the Monongahela, Allegheny and Ohio Rivers. The map was issued in General Georges Collot's, Voyages dans l'Amerique Septentrionale, which reported on his expedition through the interior of North America. This was taken at the instigation of the French Minister to the United States, Pierre Augustus Adet, who asked Collot to create "a minute detail of the political, commercial, and military state of the Western part" of the country. Adet was in general interested in the situation in America, but he supposedly also had plans to attack the Spanish in their possessions of Louisiana and Florida so Collot's survey was of military interest to the French as well. Collot traveled along the waterways leading from the Great Lakes to the mouth of the Mississippi, mapping and making drawings of the sites he passed. Collot's survey was the most detailed and accurate of the western interior of North America at that time, but because of political considerations Collot's account and plates, which were printed in 1805, were not issued until two decades later. Issued in 1826, the journal-issued simultaneously in French and English editions-included an atlas of 36 maps and views. Interestingly, it is recorded that all but 100 of the English and 300 of the French volumes were deliberately destroyed just after the publication. Thus these important plates are extremely scarce, making them amongst the most sought after images of America. This map represents the earliest printed depiction of Pittsburgh with such detail. The ruins of the original Port Pitt are shown at the point, with the newer Fort Lafayette placed further up stream along the Allegheny. The street plan of Pittsburgh, with streets set up parallel to both rivers, is mapped out; the blocks along the Monongahela are shown well developed, with far fewer buildings indicated in the streets along the Allegheny. The hilly terrain further inland clearly depicted and a lettered key identifies various sites. Though published in 1824 to 1826, this map has its roots and history in the eighteenth century. $4,800
John Halsall. "Sectional Map of the Territory of Kansas. Compiled from the Field Notes in the Surveyor General's Office." New York: J.H. Colton, 1857. Copyright, 1856. Separately issued, pocket map printed on banknote paper and folded into original covers. 27 1/2 x 21 1/2. Lithograph. Original hand color. Some light discoloration at folds. Very good condition. Denver.
A rare, pocket map of "Bleeding Kansas," a primary historic artifact map intended to bring anti-slavery settlers to the territory. The Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 created the Kansas Territory with the provision that the issue of whether it would be slave or free was to be decided by "popular sovereignty." This meant that in the years that followed, each side of this conflict tried to flood the territory with their proponents; this map was intended to be sold on the east coast to attract anti-slavery emigrants.
This map was drawn by John Halsall from the best available maps, those of the General Land Office's Surveyor General. Indeed, in the lower right corner of the map is a box with the following text: "The above Map is correct, So far as the field notes have been reported to this Office Surveyor General's Office 1856. Robert L. Ream, Chief Clerk, Surveyor Gen'ls. Office." The map shows the eastern part of Kansas, as far west as the Principal Meridian. Counties are shown and named and the extent of the GLO's survey is indicated with township lines. Indian lands and reservations are also noted, and all the towns, forts, rivers, and roads are indicated clearly. This map was issued both by its author, John Halsall, in St. Louis and J.H. Colton in New York. $2,100
William J. Keeler. "National Map of the Territory of the United States from the Mississippi to the Pacific Ocean." Washington: W.J. Keeler, 1867. Separately issued map, mounted on original linen for folding and with original covers. 47 5/8 x 57 5/ 8. Drawn by N. du Bois. Lithograph by J.F. Gedney. Full original color. With some partial separations at folds. Else, very good condition. Martin & Martin: 47; Wheat: 1170. Denver.
One of the great maps of the American West, Keeler's monumental image shows the region poised on the eve of the huge development that was soon to follow. After the territory of the United States reached the Pacific coastline, and with the outgrowth of myriad reasons for the citizens to desire better access to the western lands-gold, land, and other tremendous opportunities-there built a tremendous demand for the construction of railroads lines to the West. Thus was set in motion a series of government surveys, resulting in an 1855 map by Lt. G.K. Warren, which proposed four possible railroad routes to the Pacific. Though the nation's attention was directed elsewhere during the Civil War, western expansion quickly reopened with a great rush of post-war settlers and speculators. Growing public interest in the region's character, geography, and railroads spurred William J. Keeler, an Indian Bureau engineer, to privately produce this excellent and highly detailed map of the entire western United States.
As Susan Schulten comments in Mapping the Nation, Keeler's map "anticipates the momentum of western development…His map celebrated the economic potential of the West...by highlighting mineral lands, transportation routes, and progress of the [national] survey." Carl Wheat calls it, "A complete Railroad Map, the only one published which shows the whole of the great Pacific Railroad routes and their projections and branches, together with all other railroads in the States and Territories bordering the Mississippi on both sides."
Keeler based his rendering in part on the Warren map and the Pacific railroad surveys, but he added much extra information, especially on the railroads. With access to the records of the Indian Bureau, Keeler added data on many Indian settlements and reservations, the latter identified with a color code. Besides this detail, Keeler also showed forts, exploration and travel routes, settlements, mines, and more-much of this information depicted for the first time on a general map. At the beginning of the huge western expansion of the post-Civil War period, this was the most detailed and accurate of all maps of the American West. Privately issued and sold as a separate publication, mounted on linen and folded into covers, this is a rare and most desirable cartographic document of considerable historic note. $6,800
J.W. Abert and W.G. Peck. "Map of the Territory of New Mexico, made by order of Brig. Gen. S.W. Kearny, under the instructions from Lieut. W.H. Emory, U.S.T.E. by Lieut's J.W. Abert and W.G. Peck. U.S.T.E. 1846-47." Washington: GPO, 1847. 25 x 19 1/2. Lithograph. With folds, as issued. Very good condition. Wheat: 532. Denver.
A seminal map of New Mexico, the first map of the territory, issued in the Emory's Notes of a Military Reconnaissance. Lieutenants Abert and Peck were with the U.S. Army's Topographical Corps of Engineers and they began their survey of New Mexico in 1846, shortly after the Mexican province was captured by the army and two years before it became part of the United States. Abert and Peck had been left behind by Kearny's Army of the West during the war and they surveyed the northern "Rio del Norte" (aka Rio Grande) valley and surrounding areas. Their survey, typically of the work of the Corps, was meticulous and the map is filled with precise detail, showing towns--including Taos, Santa Fe and Albuquerque--, roads, pueblos, ruins and mines, as well as geographic features like topography and rivers. Locations of Indian tribes is also noted. A fine example of the foundation map for New Mexico. $950
William E. Morris after John Melish. "Map of Pennsylvania, Constructed from the County Surveys authorized by the State; and other original Documents. Revised And Improved Under the supervision of Wm. E. Morris, Civil Engineer." Philadelphia: R.L. Barnes, -1849. Copyright, R.L. Barnes 1848. 50 x 74. Engraving by Edward Yeager. Original hand color. Conserved and mounted on new linen backing. Very good condition.
In 1816, the Pennsylvania State legislature passed a law to produce an official state map, and this project was given to the supervision of Philadelphia mapmaker John Melish. Melish called for each county to produce a standardized map, which he would then use to compile a full state map. He worked for six years on this map, which was finally produced in 1822, with revised editions issued in 1824, 1826, and 1832. As each of these maps was produced, one could see the internal growth and development of the state, with new roads and canals, settlements and other features making their appearance with each new issue. By the 1830s, however, it became clear that the tremendous growth of the state demanded an updated and revised version of this official state map. Civil Engineer William E. Morris was authorized to gather updated information from each county, and he proceeded to 'revise and improve' Melish's map, with the new engravings done by Philadelphia craftsman Edward Yeager. The map was copyrighted and first issued in 1848 and this example was issued a year later with some updating. The size of this map and its myriad public uses determined that the map would be issued in the format of a wall map. Its sheets were joined, mounted on canvas, and varnished so that it could be hung in public plates throughout the state. Added along the bottom of the map are several tables of information. These include: "Anthracite Coal Trade of Pennsylvania," "Public Works of Pennsylvania," "Approximate Estimate of Bituminous Coal Mined in 1847," and "Statistical Table Shewing The Prominent Features of each County." It map is a superb picture of Pennsylvania at mid-century and it is the last of the great engraved maps of the state. $6,500
"Richardsons New Map of the State of Texas including Part of Mexico." Philadelphia: Charles Desilver, 1859. Detached from Texas Almanac. First edition (copyrighted 1858, dated 1859). Folding map on thin, banknote paper. 25 x 33. Lithograph. Original hand color. Some scattered light spots and minor, repaired tears. Overall, very good condition. Framed. Denver.
In 1857, David Richardson and Willard Richardson, co-owners of the Galveston News and not related, issued the first edition of the Texas Almanac, what became an annual publication containing information about the state and intended both for reference and to attract new residents. The almanac went through sixteen editions, being published every year, except 1866, through 1873. In the second year of publication, the Richardsons added a map to accompany the almanac, J.H. Young's "Map of the State of Texas," the same map which appeared in Charles Desilver's atlas of that year. The following edition, that of 1859, added an impressive new map of Texas, also published by Desilver, but of considerable improvement to other commercial maps of the state available at the time.
As stated in the title, the new map of Texas was "compiled from Government surveys and other authentic documents." It was based primarily on the Bureau of Topographical Engineer's "Map of Texas and Part of Mexico" issued in 1857, but also using information from Pressler's map of 1858, and the J.H. Young map. The map went through revisions in the following years, replaced in 1867 by a new map published by G.W. & C.B. Colton. This first edition is an impressive document. It shows the state entire and extends well into New Mexico, Arizona and Mexico. Counties are indicated with contrasting colors and much information is given on topography, settlements and the transportation network, including depictions of railroads (exiting and "in progress"), regular and military roads, and the Mail Road from San Antonio to San Diego via El Paso. A list in the bottom left lists railroads "in part Completed" and those in progress. Further on this theme is an inset "Map Showing the Proposed Route of the Arkansas Railroad and its Connections with the Eastern Roads." Overall, a rare, attractive, and superior map of ante-bellum Texas. $7,500
Thomas Hutchins. "Plan of the Battle near Bushy-Run, Gained by Colonel Bouquet, over the Delawares, Shawnese, Mingoes, Wyandoes, Mohikons, Miamies & Ottawas; on the 5th and 6th. of August 1763." Along with diagram of British line of march and dispositions during attack. From A General Topography of North America and the West Indies. London: R. Sayer & T. Jefferys, 1768. Two plans on folio sheet: map 8 7/8 x 6 1/4 (platemark); diagram 8 1/2 x 6 3/8. Engraving by Thomas Jefferys. Very good condition. Phillips: Maps of America, p. 182.
A very rare map and diagram of the Battle of Bushy Run from Jeffery's important General Topography. The Battle of Bushy Run was a very important event in the early development of the country, today unfortunately mostly forgotten. During the French and Indian War, the British had tried to win over from the French the tribes-Delaware, Shawnees and Iroquois-located in what is today western Pennsylvania and in the upper Ohio River basin. These tribes remained mostly neutral believing that this would lead to an end to British encroachments west of the Allegheny Mountains. This belief was shattered when, following the conclusion of the French and Indian War, European colonists began to move into western Pennsylvania and beyond in a steady stream, and the British continued construction of Fort Pitt, a large brick and stone fortification.
Meanwhile, Pontiac--an Ottawa war chief--was gaining a following in the mid-west for his campaign to drive the British out of the region. On May 8, 1763, Pontiac and his Ottawas lay siege to Fort Detroit, beginning what has been called Pontiac's Rebellion. Because of the British intrusions and broken promises, the tribes in eastern tribes decided to join the rebellion, destroying Forts LeBoeuf, Venango, and Pressque Isle and attacking Fort Pitt in June 1763. Colonel Henry Bouquet was sent, with three regiments, to march west to relieve and resupply the hard-pressed defenders of Fort Pitt. After leaving Fort Ligonier, and about 25 miles east of Fort Pitt near Busy Run, Bouquet was attacked on August 5 by a large force of Indians, who, once they learned of Bouquet's march, had left the siege of Fort Pitt to lay an ambush. Over the two days of the battle, about 50 British died and 60 were wounded, while the Indian force-described by Bouquet as numbering about 400 but by the Indians as about a quarter of that-lost between 30 and 50. The Indians were driven from the field and Bouquet marched on to rescue Fort Pitt. This battle off in the wilds of western Pennsylvania had an important impact on the course of American history, for it ended any hope the Indians in western Pennsylvania had of preserving their lands and opened up the entire region to more and more British settlement. This was, in effect, the beginning of the flood of colonists from their original settlements on the East Coast across the Allegheny Mountains and into the mid-west. $2,800
J.T. Lawson. "Lawson's Map from Actual Survey of the Gold, Silver & Quicksilver Regions of Upper California. Exhibiting the Mines, Diggings, Roads, Paths, Houses, Mill, Stores, Missions &c. &c. by J.T. Lawson, Esq. Cala. Together with a miniature map of the United States, Mexico and South America. Showing the different routs [sic] to California &c. &c." New York: Dewitt & Davenport, 1849. Separately issued map on banknote paper; folded into original booklet with stamped title. 14 1/2 x 20 1/2. Lithograph by G. Snyder; "Engraved in stone by Edw. Herrlein." A few small separations at folds. Some light darkening at a few folds and stain from glue where attached to booklet. Overall, very good condition. Wheat: Maps of the California Gold Region: 108. Denver.
An important pocket map of the California gold regions issued to year of the California gold rush. Pocket maps were issued for places people were interested in traveling to, and no place in the United States was of more interest for travelers in 1849 than the California gold regions. This map was intended for those heading to California to participate in the great gold rush. It was only the second map to be issued of just the gold fields. It contains all the information such a '49er' would need, including indications of all the mines, diggings, roads, mills, and other features of note. In the upper corner is a small map showing the various routes to California, and the main map extends from San Francisco, where most would land, north beyond the gold fields. The map is based on an 1848 by Edward Ord, but with some new information added to reflect later events. The map is almost as much a promotional document as a cartographic one, with notes scattered all over such as "Gold found on all these streams," and "Low Clay Hills and Gravel containing Gold." A note at the bottom lists the distances from Sutter's Fort to the lower and upper mines. A map like this, intended for use by travelers and often taken out into the field, would have a very low rate of survival, so it is especially surprising to find a copy in such excellent condition as this. It is a wonderful survivor of that important part of American history. $11,500
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