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AUCTION 18

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

Lot 46

“Showing All the Routes to California”

46. [MAP]. ENSIGN & BRIDGMAN. Map of the United States, Canada, Mexico and the West Indies with Central America, Showing All the Routes to California with a Table of Distances. New York, Ensign & Bridgman 156, William St. cor. of Ann St., [ca. 1854-1855]. Lithographed map on bank note paper, original full color, vivid rose outlining, “Gold Region” located in California (along the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers), ornate vine border, ships plying the seas, routes, table of distances below. Image area including border: 55.7 x 68.7 cm; 21-7/8 x 27 inches. Pocket map, folded into original lilac embossed and gilt-lettered cloth folder, Ensign & Bridgman’s ad printed on bright yellow paper on front pastedown. Superb copy, bright and beautiful, with only a few minor splits at fold (no losses). It would be difficult to find a better copy. Uncommon.

     This very decorative map shows steam and sailing ships, sea routes to California, land routes of Emory, Gregg, Fremont, and other explorers. This rare map focuses mostly on the interest in "routes to California" generated by the Gold Rush. Cf. Wheat, Mapping the Transmississippi 804 & Maps of the California Gold Region 258. Wheat lists the 1854 edition published by Ensign, Bridgman & Fanning, but not the present one by the firm Ensign & Bridgman. Tooley does not list the firm of Ensign & Bridgman. The 1854 edition listed by Wheat does not yet show the Gadsden Purchase which is delineated here. In the 1854 edition, three ships are shown, whereas the present map has four ships.

     Timothy (1795-1849) and Edward Ensign were lithographers in New York City, active in a series of partnerships between 1841 and 1861, working with Phelps and Humphrey, as Ensign & Thayer (with Horace Thayer), and as Ensign, Bridgman & Fanning. Over their career they produced a number of notable prints on subjects from American history as well as maps and U.S. traveler's guides. See Peters, Harry T. America on Stone (Doubleday, Doran, 1931, p. 181).

     This particular map or this permutation of the Ensign firm seems to be unrecorded. ($2,000-$4,000)

Image (click to enlarge)

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