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Auction 13: A Few Good Maps & Manuscripts

Lot 15

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15. [MAP]. VANDERMAELEN, Ph[ilippe Marie Guillaume]. Amér. Sep. Partie de la Vielle Californie. No.53. [Bruxelles]. Below neat line at left: Dressée et dessinée par Ph. Vandermaelen. Below neat line at right: Lith. par H. Ode...1825. Lithographed map with original outline coloring and shading. 47.1 x 52.5 cm (18-1/2 x 20-3/4 inches). No scale, but approximately 1 inch = 28 miles. Very fine, on excellent rag paper, uncut, with large margins. One of the most beautiful and unusual cartographic treatments ever created depicting the historic region at the juncture of the Colorado and Gila Rivers at the mouth of the Gulf of California.

     First printing of the largest scale map of the region printed up to that time. The map shows the borderland region at the pivotal juncture of southern Arizona, northern Sonora, northern Baja, Upper California (locating San Diego, Mission San Luis Rey de Francia, Mission San Juan Capistrano, etc.). The track of Vancouver’s voyage is traced, and located are the pearl fishery, various tribes (Apache, Papago, Cocomaricopas, and others), and other features. The atlas in which the map appeared was the first printed atlas of the world on a uniform scale and the first major lithographed atlas. Koeman, Atlantes Neerlandici (Vander Maelen 1) III, p. 142: “During the period when Belgium and the Netherlands together formed the kingdom of the Netherlands, one of the most remarkable developments of private enterprise in cartography took place in Brussels. There lived Philippe Vandermaelen, son of the wealthy soap manufacturer, Guillaume Vandermaelen, who abandoned the soap trade and devoted his life to cartography. He did extremely well and published one of the most remarkable world atlases ever made: a world atlas with 400 maps on a uniform scale of ca. 1:1,6 million. This work, which appeared in 1827, was far ahead of its time, but its appearance could only be justified by the unparalleled zeal of its author... The completion of the huge work was realized in the amazingly short period of three years.” Wheat, Mapping the Transmississippi West #378 & p. 94: “No mapmaker had previously attempted to use such a large scale for any western area.”      ($250-500)

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