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Largest Scale Colonial Maps of Texas—“difficult to assemble”—Streeter

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369.     [MAP]. VANDERMAELEN, Ph[ilippe Marie Guillaume]. Five lithograph maps on heavy rag paper with original outline hand coloring, relief shown in hachure, together showing Texas and surrounding areas [map list and details below]. [Bruxelles]: H. Ode, Avril [and] Juin, 1825. No scale, but approximately 1 inch = 28 miles. Occasional very mild foxing, otherwise exceptionally fine and fresh copies with large, untrimmed margins, original drab blue paper mounts for insertion in atlas on versos. Difficult to find the complete set of five, which together comprise one of the most beautiful and unusual cartographic treatments of Texas ever produced.


Amér. Sep. Parties des États-Unis et du Nouveau Mexique [above neat line at right] No. 48. [below lower neat line] Dressée et dessinée par Ph Vandermaelen la lettre par Ph. Lippens Dessée sur pierre et Lithrée par H. Ode Avril 1825. Neat line to neat line: 46.3 x 56 cm. Rumsey 2212.253. Shown are parts of Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico (including Santa Fe). Native tribes and the exploratory expeditions of Pike, Long, and others are traced.

Amér. Sep. Partie du Mexique [above neat line at right] No. 54. [below lower neat line] Dressée et dessinée par Ph Vandermaelen Dessée sur Pierre et Lithogrée par H. Juin 1825. Neat line to neat line: 47.1 x 49.6 cm. Rumsey 2212.259. Borderlands including parts of New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, Sonora, and Chihuahua. Tribes located include “Cumanches” and various branches of Apache. Extensive text on “Passo del Norte” discusses military presence in the region on the Santa Fe Trail. Also included are observations on the beauty and fertility of the region of Santa Lucia, irrigation, agriculture, grape culture and wine, etc.

Amér. Sep. Partie des États-Unis [above neat line at right] No. 55. Neat line to neat line: 47.1 x 51.8 cm. Phillips, Maps of America, p. 884. Rumsey 2212.260. This is the first separately printed map of North Texas. Includes southwest Oklahoma. Among the lithographed notes on this map is text on the Red River, which states that the Acadians coming from Santa Fe in 1740 took to canoes there to continue their trip down the river. General Wilkinson’s encampment on the Sabine is shown. The Panhandle is simply “Grand Désert.” Although the Texas Hill Country is shown, except for rivers, “Monts de San Saba,” and a single rancho, the region is otherwise featureless.

Amér. Sep. Partie du Mexique. [above neat line at right] No. 59. Neat line to neat line: 46.8 x 52 cm. Rumsey 2212.265. The map includes part of the Rio Grande and Big Bend, but most of the area depicted is devoted to Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon, Zacatecas, Durango, and Sinaloa. The Native American tribal representation for the Big Bend and its environs is “Tribus Indépendantes et Guerrières.” The major portion of the map shows Mexico from Nueva Viscaya to Nuevo León, including Monterrey and Saltillo.

Amér. Sep. Partie du Mexique. [above neat line at right] No. 60. Neat line to neat line: 46.2 x 50.7 cm. Rumsey 2212.266. Taliaferro, Cartographic Sources in the Rosenberg Library 219: “The only printed map from the colonial period devoted specifically to the Texas coast…. His configuration strongly resembles the Texas coast on Henry Tanner’s Map of North America, 1822, and on John Melish’s Map of the United States 1816…. There is no sign yet of Austin’s colony or any other Anglo settlements.” In addition to the Texas coast, this elegant map shows parts of Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, and Louisiana. A large box at right contains extensive text on mining in Mexico from Humboldt.

     First printing of the largest scale map of Texas printed at the time. 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. Map No. 55 is the first separate map of North Texas ever printed. These maps appeared in Vandermaelen’s Atlas Universel de Géographie…. (Bruxelles, 1827). These maps are very handsome, their place names at times curious, their cartography sometimes imaginary, and their historical significance in cartography and the history of lithography important and interesting. Visually, they are arresting and unusual. For many of the areas depicted, Vandermaelen’s maps are the largest scale maps yet made at the time and the most detailed.

     Day, Maps of Texas, p. 141 (Map 60, showing the Texas coast, in photostat). Koeman, Atlantes Neerlandici (Vander Maelen 1) III, pp. 142-145: “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.”

     Martin & Martin, p. 32: “Vandermaelen’s Atlas Universel, the most lavish and detailed cartographic production of the decade and the first major lithographed atlas, included five maps depicting parts of Texas.” National Maritime Museum Catalogue (Atlases & Cartography) 179. Phillips, Atlases 749. Rumsey 2212 (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.”

     Streeter 1095 (listing all five maps): “The five only partly related sheets comprising the Texas region, though on a large scale, are difficult to assemble for a study of Texas as a whole, even when available as separates and not bound in an atlas. The entire Texas coast line, fortunately, happens to be shown on a single sheet (No. 60). It is apparent that for this, Maelen had not consulted either the Carta esférica que comprehende las costas del Seno Mexicano, Madrid, 1799 (entry No. 1029), or its main features as outlined in Humboldt’s Carte Générale…Nouvelle Espagne, Paris, 1809 (entry No. 1042), [see Items 303 & 315 herein] for he shows it as a jumble of islands dotting the coast from Galveston Bay (here called Baie Trinidad) to the mouth of the Rio Grande. The Canadian River running across the Texas Panhandle is correctly shown as flowing into the Arkansas, and a ‘Little Brazos’ running into the Brazos is shown and named. The San Antonio is still incorrectly represented as flowing into the Gulf of Mexico, instead of joining the Guadalupe many miles above. The few place names are poorly done, some apparently imaginary.” Wellens-De Donder, Philippe Vandermaelen 1795-1869, 4-5. Cf. Wheat, Transmississippi West #378 & Vol. II, pp. 94-95: “No mapmaker had previously attempted to use such a large scale for any western area.”


Sold. Hammer: $1,700.00; Price Realized: $2,040.00

Auction 22 Abstracts

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