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AUCTION 18

Texas, California, the Southwest U.S., Mexico & the Borderlands:
Interesting books, broadsides, maps & ephemera

Lot 4

4. [ATLAS]. BRADFORD, T[homas] G[amaliel]. A Comprehensive AtlasGeographical, Historical & Commercial. Boston: William D. Ticknor; New York: Wiley & Long; Philadelphia: T. T. Ash [copyright 1835]. 52 leaves (unnumbered), 2 engraved plates (hand-colored frontispiece, The Five Varieties of the Human Race; and elaborate pictorial title drawn by E. Tisdale and W. Croome, engraved by J. Andrew), 76 engraved maps with original outline coloring. Folio, original three-quarter tan sheep over blue marbled boards (neatly rebacked, original spine laid down, original green marbled endpapers preserved). Both hinges cracked but holding tight, mild to moderate foxing throughout (heavier on endpapapers), light offsetting to title page, overall a very good, complete copy, with later printed label of William A. Larned (1806-1862), minister and professor at Yale.

     The first editions of Bradford’s small atlas came out in 1835, apparently published by a consortium of publishers. These atlases enjoyed commerical success, with small format versions appearing in 1835, and a reworked large-format version published in 1838. Phillips, Atlases 770. Sabin 7260. Shaw & Shoemaker 306134. Wheat, Mapping the Transmississippi West 408, 409, 410: “The little Bradford maps of 1835, while not important, give the general picture of the West that one would have had as a member of the public as the thirties rolled past their half-way point. Chiefly interesting is the boundary on one of the maps at 54° 40’, while on another map the southern boundary of the Oregon country ends in San Francisco Bay.”

     There was no separate map of Texas in the earliest verions of Bradford’s atlas (see next entry for the first edition of the Bradford atlas to contain a separate map and text leaf for Texas). However, here there are three maps with original outline color that show Texas as part of Mexico: [1] United States, 19.4 x 25.5 cm (7-5/8 x 10 inches); [2] Mexico, Guatemala, and the West Indies, 19.4 x 25.5 cm (7-5/8 x 10 inches); Texas is shown as part of the Mexican state of Tamaulipas, with Austin’s Colony prominently located and outlined in green and pink; however, the accompanying text leaf states that Texas is part of Coahuila y Tejas, evidence of the unsettled political status of Texas; [3] North America, 25.5 x 19.5 (10 x 7-5/8 inches); Austin’s Colony is not specificially located (but is mentioned), and San Felipe and San Antonio are located.

     A plate at the back entitled Modes of Travelling has an early depiction of a train. "Thomas Gamaliel Bradford (1802-1887) of Boston served as an assistant editor of the America Encyclopedia before entering the field of atlas publishing" (Ristow, p. 270). ($1,000-2,000)

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