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Maps of Virginia & the Chesapeake Bay

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Hondius Smith Virginia
Henricus Hondius after John Smith. "Nova Virginia Tabula." Amsterdam: H. Hondius, [1633]-1653. 15 x 19 3/8. Engraving. Original hand color. Repaired separation at bottom of centerfold, otherwise very good condition. Spanish text on verso. Tooley, The Mapping of America: Derivative 5, State 1.

Henricus Hondius' derivative of the famous John Smith map of Virginia, the first printed map to focus on the Chesapeake Bay. John Smith was part of the first English settlement in North America. Smith arrived in Jamestown in the spring of 1607 and went to work surveying the Chesapeake region in order to compile a map of the "New Virginia" colony. This was first published in Smith's account of 1612, and because of its importance it was soon copied by Jodocus Hondius Jr. in 1618. A decade later, Amsterdam publisher Willem Blaeu purchased a large collection of Jodocus Hondius' plates from his widow, including this one, which he began to issue with his own imprint. Henricus Hondius, Jodocus' brother, together with Jan Jansson, were beginning to issue their own series of atlases, and with the sale of the Virginia plate to Blaeu, Henricus needed to produce his own new plate. This is a faithful copy of the original Jodocus Hondius plate, though the decorative vignettes were copied in mirror Image (the Indian on the right now looks to the left). Also the British royal coat-of-arms now appears.

As the first printed map of Virginia, the Smith rendering in all its versions had a profound impact on the mapping of the colony, standing as the prototype for the region from the beginning of the seventeenth century well into its second half. The map shows the information gathered by Smith's exploration of the Chesapeake Bay, the limits of which are indicated by a series of crosses. Also shown are the surrounding Indian settlements, as well as the settlement at Jamestown. In the upper left corner is an inset showing Powhatan's hut, and the right side is graced by a colorful coat-of-arms and an illustration of a native taken from De Bry. One interesting feature of the map is its western orientation, which shows the Chesapeake region as it would have been seen by a passenger in a ship sailing from Europe. $3,600

Fry, Jefferson, Virginia, Maryland
Joshua Fry and Peter Jefferson. "Carte De La Virginie et Du Maryland." Paris: Gilles Robert De Vaugondy, 1755. 19 x 25 1/4. Engraving by E[lizabeth]. Haussard. Original outline color. Slight spotting and petite chips at extremities. Very good condition and impression. The strongest strike we have seen. Pedley: 470, state 1.

The first state of Robert De Vaugondy's French edition of the Fry-Jefferson map of Virginia and Maryland. This is one of the most famous of American maps, and the finest eighteenth century map of these states. Commissioned by the colonial government of Virginia, this is the first accurate map of the colony beyond the Chesapeake Bay region and into the Appalachian mountains. Joshua Fry, Thomas Jefferson's tutor, and Peter Jefferson, Thomas' father, based the map on their own surveys of the interior together with other first-hand information, producing a superior map that extends from the Chesapeake in the east to beyond the mountains in the west. 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. The first edition of this map was published in London in 1751 in a very large size. Its impact was greatly increased by this reduced French edition, which came out a mere four years after the first English edition. In fact, it is said that Thomas Jefferson hung the smaller version at Monticello as the English copy of his father's map was too large. The map shows excellent topographical information from Delaware through western Virginia, presenting the development, transportation and economic potential of the mid-Atlantic English colonies in a wonderfully graphic manner. $4,200

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. 39 x 50 1/2. 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 American 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 Lewis. "Virginia." Philadelphia: H.C. Carey & I. Lea, 1822-27. From A Complete Historical, Chronological, and Geographical American Atlas. 12 1/4 x 18 1/4 (map); 16 1/2 x 20 1/2 (full sheet). Engraving by Young & Delleker. Full, original hand coloring. Very good condition.

In 1822, Henry Charles Carey and Isaac Lea published their 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. The sheets from this atlas, which cover North America, Central America, South America and the West Indies, are comprised of an engraved map surrounded by text documenting the history, climate, population and so forth of the area depicted. The atlas is particularly known for its excellent early maps of the states and territories of the United States. Many of these maps were drawn by Fielding Lucas, Jr., an important Baltimore cartographer. All of the maps show excellent and very up-to-date detail, providing fine verbal and graphic pictures of states and territories in the early 19th century. $650

Mitchell, Virginia
"A New Map of Virginia with its Canals, Roads & Distances...along the Stage & Steam Boat Routes." From Universal Atlas. Philadelphia: S. Augustus Mitchell, 1848. 11 1/2 x 13 3/4. Lithographic transfer from engraved plate. Full original hand color. Some typical paper toning at edges. Very good condition.

In 1848, the Philadelphia firm of S. Augustus Mitchell issued an edition of Tanner's Universal Atlas. It continued the publication of the fine state maps, updated for new information. This was near the beginning of the history of the Mitchell firm, which would come to dominate American cartography in output and influence. This early map of Virginia is a good example of the firm's output. Topographical information, including towns, rivers, roads, etc. is clearly shown, and the counties are shaded with contrasting pastel shades. This map is especially interesting in its depiction of the transportation network in the state, including roads and railroads. A table at the bottom lists the steamboat routes, and along the top is a profile of the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal. An important source of information in this period of increased immigration and travel in the American south. $325

S.A. Mitchell, Jr. "County Map of Virginia and West Virginia." Philadelphia: S. A. Mitchell, Jr., 1871. 11 1/2 x 14 1/4. Lithograph. Original hand color. With stain in bottom margin and chip in top margin.

S. Augustus Mitchell, Jr., of Philadelphia, was one of the largest map publishers of the middle of the nineteenth century. The firm was founded by his father, who from around the middle of the nineteenth century issued atlases and maps of all parts of the world in all formats. The Mitchell atlases contained up-to-date maps which were as attractive as they were accurate. With its bold hand-color, decorative borders, and interesting information from this interesting period of American history, this is a fine example of the Mitchell firm's output. $100

"Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia." Philadelphia: W.M. Bradley & Bro., 1884. 16 x 22 1/2. Lithograph. Original hand color. Very good condition.

A precisely detailed map from the Philadelphia publishing firm of William M. Bradley & Bro. While Philadelphia was no longer the main center of cartographic publishing in North America by the late nineteenth century, many fine maps were still produced there, as is evidenced by this map. Topography, political information, towns, roads and physical features are all presented precisely and clearly. $150

Arbuckle Virginia
"Virginia." New York: Arbuckle Bros. Coffee Company, 1889. Ca. 3 x 5. Chromolithograph by Donaldson Brothers. Very good condition.

From a delightful series of maps issued by the Arbuckle Bros. Coffee Company. This firm was founded by John and Charles Arbuckle of Pittsburgh, PA. They developed a machine to weigh, fill, seal and label coffee in paper packages, which allowed them to become the largest importer and seller of coffee in the world. Their most famous promotional program involved the issuing of several series of small, colorful trading cards, one of which was included in every package of Arbuckle's Coffee. These series included cards with sports, food, historic scenes, and--one of the most popular--maps. The latter cards included not only a map, but also small illustrations "which portrays the peculiarities of the industry, scenery, etc." of the region depicted. These cards are a delight, containing informative maps as well as wonderful scenes of the area mapped. $60

"Virginia." From Rand-McNally Indexed Atlas of the World. Chicago: Rand, McNally & Co., 1889. 19 x 26. Chromolithograph. Very good condition. With inset map of western portion of Virginia in upper left corner of map.

A late nineteenth century map from the early days of the Rand, McNally & Co. firm out of Chicago, a company that would shift the center of cartographic publishing from the east coast to the mid-west. Typical of the work from the firm, this map has good detail precisely and neatly exhibited. Topographic and social information, counties, rail lines, towns, rivers and mountains are all illustrated. Aesthetically and cartographically the quality of this map is a foreshadow of the maps of the twentieth century. $175


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