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October 26, 2007

The First Separately Printed Map of North Texas

149. [MAP]. VANDERMAELEN, Ph[ilippe Marie Guillaume]. Amér. Sep. Partie des États-Unis No. 55. [Bruxelles: Henri Ode, Lithographer, 1827]. Lithograph map with original watercolor wash at borders, neat line to neat line: 46.5 x 51.2 cm, no scale, but approximately 1 inch = 28 miles. Very mild scattered foxing, otherwise fine. Among the most beautiful and unusual cartographic treatments of Texas.

            First edition of the first separately printed map of North Texas (includes southwest Oklahoma). The atlas in which these maps appeared was the first printed atlas of the world on a uniform scale and the first major lithographed atlas. The atlas contained five maps relating to Texas, and the present offering is the one showing North Texas (for more on the atlas see below). Among the lithographed notes on this map is one on the Red River stating that the Acadians coming from Santa Fe in 1740 here took to canoes to continue their trip down the river. General Wilkinson’s encampment on the Sabine is shown. The Panhandle is simply “Grand Désert.” Martin & Martin, p. 32: “Based primarily on the outmoded models of Humboldt and Pike.” Phillips, Atlases 749. Streeter 1095 (listing the five Texas maps): “The Canadian River running across the Texas Panhandle is correctly shown as flowing into the Arkansas... The few place names are...apparently imaginary.” Wheat, Transmississippi West #378 & Vol. III, p. 94 (describing the general map América Septentrionale).

            Rumsey 2212 (showing the present map but discussing the atlas in general: “This monumental work was the first atlas of the world with all maps on the same scale (and a large scale at that-about one inch to 26 miles) and the first lithographed world atlas. If all the maps were joined together they would form a globe of 7.75 meters in diameter (such a globe was made in Brussels). The maps were published originally in parts of ten maps each, beginning in 1825 and ending in 1827. Vandermaelen’s maps are frequently misunderstood because each map is usually best comprehended in the context of its neighboring maps. Koeman states that ‘His atlases, although unique in concept and size did not possess that fine touch of cartographic style which make them attractive for a collector....’” We strongly disagree-the graphic art of the maps must be appreciated in the context of lithography, a developing art at the time; as lithographs, they are very well done. For many of the areas depicted, these maps are the largest scale maps made at the time and the most detailed (particularly in the American West). See also: Koeman, Atlantes Neerlandici, Vander Maelen 1, III, pp. 142-145: “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.” National Maritime Museum Catalogue (Atlases & Cartography) 179. Wellens-De Donder, Philippe Vandermaelen 1795-1869, 4-5. ($400-800)

Sold. Hammer: $450.00; Price Realized: $528.75

Auction 21 Abstracts

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