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AUCTION 22

 

Rare Edition of García Cubas’ Influential Atlas


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16.     [ATLAS]. [GARCÍA CUBAS, Antonio (after)]. [Atlas geográfico de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos: Obra compuesta de 30 cartas de los estados, Distrito Federal y territorios de la Baja California y Tepic]. [Spine title] Atlas Geográfico de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos. [Mexico]: Cadena y Ca., 1897. 30 folded chromolithograph maps of Mexico, each within broad silver border and fully colored, sizes vary, each leaf is notched and has the map subject in contemporary ink on a tab, maps bound in alphabetical order by state name. Folio (53.5 x 36 cm), contemporary three-quarter sheep over cloth-covered boards, raised bands, spine gilt-lettered. Wants title page. Spine rubbed and chipped at extremities, upper board water damaged at bottom, lower board wants cloth at top, heavily rubbed and shelf worn. Tab for Aguascalientes missing. Except for mild to moderate marginal staining, all maps are very good to fine. Contemporary ink stamp of G. Águila on verso of each map. Very rare; two copies recorded on OCLC: UT Austin (Benson) and Getty.

     Later edition of García Cubas’ 1886 atlas of the same title, but here with the addition of the silver borders that hide “Atlas Mexicano por Antonio Garcia Cubas” (at upper left above neat line) and Debray’s imprint (below neat line). For the 1886 Debray edition, see: Palau 98722. Phillips, Atlases 2687. Rumsey 5758. Each map has a key to towns, haciendas, ranchos, mines, anchorages, roads, railroads, etc., and includes the surrounding states for contrast. Physical features include waterways, lakes, soundings, and mountain ranges. The map of the Federal District is decorated with eight vignettes showing floor plans of several buildings, Mexico City in pre-Hispanic times, a modern street plan, and Mexican antiquities. Several of the maps also have insets, such as the one of Guerrero, which has an inset of the “Puerto de Acapulco,” and Sinaloa, with an inset of “Mazatlán.” Recent realignments of state borders are labelled and shown in red (e.g. Nuevo León).

     This atlas is emblematic of the progress and development in Mexico during Porfirio Díaz’s tenure as President. One such feature, for example, is the depiction of railroads, either existing or under consideration. As the map of Oaxaca shows, the elusive cross-Tehuantepec road is still “en estudio”; by contrast, Puebla is well served at this time by railways both public and private. The fine details of each map and the excellent workmanship reflect not only progress in defining and developing Mexico’s geography but also embody the height of late nineteenth-century Mexican lithographic art.

     Antonio García Cubas is known as “el fundador de nuestra geografía como ciencia” (Dicc. Porrúa). His atlases were reprinted many times in many forms.

($750-1,500)

Sold. Hammer: $750.00; Price Realized: $900.00

Auction 22 Abstracts

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