AUCTION 23

 
 

“The first great atlas of Mexico, produced by a Mexican and printed in Mexico” (Rumsey)

 
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9. [ATLAS]. GARCÍA Y CUBAS, Antonio. Atlas geográfico e histórico de la República Mexicana, Formado por Antonio García y Cubas. Mexico: Imprenta de José Mariano Fernández de Lara, Calle de la Palma número 4, 1858. [6, introduction]; [1] 2-4 (commentary); [2, list of pre-Conquest kings]; [1] 2-18 (analysis) pp., 32 double-page leaves of lithograph plates containing 33 maps (all but two with original color): 2 maps of the Republic of Mexico, 29 maps of states and territories (one sheet with two maps), 2 maps from Mesoamerican pictorial manuscripts. Large folio (55.2 x 37.6 cm), original black sheep over dark brown paper-covered boards, spine gilt. Mild scuffing and edgewear to binding, occasional mild foxing, generally fine to very fine. Two maps trimmed (slightly affecting captions). Rare.

Maps

Most maps with original tinted color, two uncolored (Aguascalientes and Códice Boturini map). Overall sheet size of each map: 54.2 x 70.6 cm. Each map surrounded by explanatory letterpress text, table of distances, statistics (mining, agriculture, population), etc. The contents leaf lists Plate 26 as Sierra Gordo, but the plate has been combined with Plate 30, Isla del Cármen.

1.   Carta general de la Republica Mexicana formada para el estudio de la configuracion y division interior de su territorio. [below lower neat line] Imp. litog. de H. Iriarte y CA. calle de Sta Clara no. 23. | J.M. Muñozgúren litografió. Neat line to neat line: 27 x 39.2 cm. Carta I. Below the title is a wood engraving of the Mexican eagle on cactus, militaria below. Includes the borderline with the U.S. in bright red, the Gulf of Mexico east beyond Natchez, and most of Texas.

2.   Sonora. [below lower neat line] Imp. litog. de Iriarte y CA. ce. de Sta Clara no. 23. | Muñozgúren litogo. Neat line to neat line: 27 x 30 cm. Carta II. Clearly marked and labelled is the new boundary line based on the Gadsden Purchase (Treaty of Mesilla). The map includes parts of Alta California, Arizona, New Mexico, and the upper half of the Sea of Cortez.

3.   Chihuahua. [below lower neat line] Lit. de Salazar-Palma no. 4o. Neat line to neat line: 43.1 x 26.5 cm. Carta III. The red border between the U.S. and Mexico shows and labels both “Limite segun el tratado la Mesilla” and “Tratado de Guadalupe en 1848.” A good deal of far west Texas is included in the map.

4.   Coahuila. [below lower neat line] Imp. litog. de Iriarte y CA. calle de Sta Clara no. 23. | Muñozgúren litogo. Neat line to neat line: 32.3 x 24 cm. Carta IV.

5.   Nuevo Leon. [above lower neat line] Imp. lit. de Iriarte y CA. ce. de Sta Clara no. 23. | Muñozguren litogo. Neat line to neat line: 40.6 x 20 cm. Carta V.

6.   Tamaulipas. [above lower neat line] Imp. lit. de Iriarte y CA. ce. de Sta Clara no. 23. | Muñozgúren litogo. Neat line to neat line: 39.2 x 19 cm. Carta VI. The old and new border with Texas is shown.

7.   San Luis Potosí. [below lower neat line] Lit. de Salazar. Neat line to neat line: 29 x 35.1 cm. Carta VII.

8.   Zacatecas. [below lower neat line] Lit. de Salazar-Palma no. 4o. 36 x 28.7 cm. Carta VIII.

9.   Aguascalientes. [below lower neat line] Litog. de Iriarte y CA. calle de Sta Clara no. 23. | Muñozgúren litogo. Neat line to neat line: 32.7 x 42.3 cm. Carta IX. This map is uncolored.

10.  Durango. [below lower neat line] Imp. lit. de Iriarte y Ca. ce. Sta Clara no. 23. | Muñozgúren litogo. Neat line to neat line: 32 x 33 cm. Carta X.

11.  Sinaloa. [below lower neat line] Lit. de Salazar. Neat line to neat line: 37 x 28 cm. Carta XI.

12.  Jalisco. [above lower neat line] Imp. Lito. de H. Iriarte y Ca. Ce. Sta Clara no. 23. Neat line to neat line: 38 x 25.5 cm. Carta XII.

13.  Guanajuato. [below lower neat line] Litog. de Decaen. Neat line to neat line: 25.4 x 38.3 cm. Carta XIII.

14.  Michoacan. [below lower neat line] México, Litog. de Decaen. Neat line to neat line: 23.5 x 36.6 cm. Carta XIV.

15.  Querétaro. [below lower neat line] Imp. litog. de Iriarte y CA. calle de Sta Clara no. 23. | Muñozgúren litogo. Neat line to neat line: 41.5 x 29.7 cm. Carta XV.

16.  México. [below lower neat line] Litog. de Decaen. Neat line to neat line: 36.4 x 27 cm. Carta XVI.

17.  Valle de México. [below lower neat line] Litog. de Decaen. Neat line to neat line: 37 x 27.6 cm. Boundary of the Valley tinted in blue and Mexico City within in a circle tinted pink. Carta XVII.

18.  Puebla. [below lower neat line] Litog. de Decaen. Neat line to neat line: 36.8 x 27.5 cm. Carta XVIII.

19.  Veracruz. [below lower neat line] Litog. de Iriarte y CA. calle de Sta Clara no. 23. | Muñozgúren litogo. Neat line to neat line: 43 x 33 cm. Carta XIX. Inset map of the coast of Veracruz at upper right.

20.  Guerrero. [below lower neat line] Lito. de Decaen. Neat line to neat line: 24 x 36.6 cm. Carta XX.

21.  Oaxaca.[below lower neat line] Imp. litog. de Iriarte y Ca. calle de Sta Clara no. 23. | Muñozgúren litogo. Neat line to neat line: 31.3 x 37.4 cm. Carta XXI.

22.  Chiapas. [below lower neat line] México, Litog. de Decaen. Neat line to neat line: 32.5 x 33.5 cm. Carta XXII.

23.  Tabasco. [below lower neat line] Lit. de Salazar. Neat line to neat line: 29.1 x 31 cm. Carta XXIII.

24.  Yucatan. [below lower neat line] Imp. litog. de Iriarte y Ca. calle de Sta Clara no. 23. | Muñozgúren litogo. Neat line to neat line: 33.5 x 36.6 cm. Carta XXIV.

25.  Baja California. [above lower neat line] Imp. Litog. de H. Iriarte Ce. Sta Clara No. 23. Neat line to neat line: 42.2 x 26.5 cm. Carta XXV. Red boundary line marked “Limite segun el Tratado de Guadalupe.”

26.  Colima. [below lower neat line] Imp. lito. de Iriarte y Ca. calle de Sta Clara no. 23. | Muñozgúren litogo. Neat line to neat line: 26.2 x 41.2 cm. Carta XXIII [27 on plate list].

27.  Tlaxcala. [below lower neat line] Imp. lito. de Iriarte y Ca. calle de Sta Clara no. 23. | Muñozgúren litogo. Neat line to neat line: 24.5 x 32 cm. Carta XXVIII.

28.  Tehuantepec. [below lower neat line] Imp. lit. de Iriarte y Ca. ce. de Sta Clara no. 23. | Muñozgúren litogo. Neat line to neat line: 37.6 x 27.7 cm. Carta XXIX.

29.  [2 maps on one sheet] Territorios de Sierragorda é Isla Cármen. [[below lower neat line] Lit. de Salazar. Sierra Gorda: neat line to neat line: 20.4 x 17.4 cm; Isla de Cármen: 20.4 x 17 cm. Carta XXVI y XXX.

30.  Carta general de la Republica Mexicana. Formado en vista de los datos mas recientes y exactos que se han reunido con tal objeto, y constan en la noticia presentada al Exmo. Sr. Ministro de Fomento, por Antonio García y Cubas. [below title: Mexican eagle]; [view left of title] Organos de Actopan, Iztaccihuatl, Cofre de Perote, Popocatepetl, Montanas de Jacal, Orizava, Cascada de Regla. [view right of title] Palenque, Pirámide de Papantla, Mitla, Uxmal. [inset comparative profile charts of rivers and mountains at lower left] Comparacion de los principales rios de la República | Comparacion de las principales montañas de la República segun su altura. [below neat line] Lit. de Salazar. Map: neat line to neat line: 42 x 62.5 cm; map plus title and views: 49.1 x 62.5 cm. Map unnumbered [31 on plate list]. The Republic is shown in its entirety with international boundaries in bright red.

31.  Cuadro historico-geroglifico de la peregrinacion de las tribus Aztecas que poblaron el Valle de Mexico. (Num. 1.) Acompanado de algunas esplicaciones para su inteligencia, por D. Jose Fernando Ramirez, Conservador del Museo Nacional. [below neat line] Litog. de Iriarte y Ca. calle de Santa Clara no. 23 | Muñozguren litogo. Neat line to neat line: 20 x 32.5 cm. Quadro 1 [32 on plate list]. Hand colored lithograph pictorial map. Glass, p. 680 (Bibliography) & #290 (Census, describing the present map, and commenting on Ramírez’s accompanying study as “the standard commentary”). This lithograph reproduces a sixteenth-century drawing with glyphs tracing the pilgrimage of the Aztecs from Aztlan to Tenochtitlán in the Valley of Mexico (Códice de Sigüenza). The migration began around the ninth century, and the Aztecs arrived in what is now Mexico City around 1325. This map and the following are the beginning point for studying the Aztec migration. Both maps in their original manuscript form are considered to be among the early maps depicting any place in America.

32.  Cuadro historico-geroglifico de la peregrinacion de las tribus Aztecas que poblaron el Valle de Mexico. (Num. 2.).... [below neat line] Litog. de Iriarte y Ca. calle de Santa Clara no. 23 | Muñozguren litogo. Neat line to neat line: 49.6 x 52.7 cm. Quadro 2 [33 on plate list]. Uncolored lithograph pictorial map with glyphs. Glass, p. 680 (Bibliography) & #34 (Census, dating the original screenfold pictorial chronicle as ca. 1168-1355 and commenting on its appearance in the present work: “The manuscript has been studied by J.F. Ramírez (1858).” This is the version of the Aztec migration from Códice Boturini (also known as Tira de la Perigrinación), a manuscript in glyphs sometimes dated as pre-Conquest, but more generally thought to be early colonial (ca. 1521-1540). The codex maps the progress of the Aztecs across space and time by using footprints that connect the episodes of their migration. Karl Young in “The Last Pages of Codex Boturini” describes the depicted migration: “But the story of the Mexican rulers conquered by Cortez, the Mexica Aztecs, a tribe of nomads who had come from the northern deserts and within a few generations conquered nearly all the world known to them, is equally gripping, if not as famous. It is a tale of pilgrimage and omens, of lightning raids and ritual skirmishes, of stoic perseverance and uncanny luck, of defeat and near annihilation, of divine mandates and individual aberrations, of sudden reverses and desperate gambles against impossible odds, of shifting alliances and stunning spectacles, of palace intrigues and judicious marriages, of delicate compromise and stone-faced brinksmanship, of draconian protocol and whimsical chivalry, of carefully adjusted social organization and the forging of the largest and most flamboyant empire Mesoamerica had seen.”

     First edition of the first great scientific and national atlas of all of Mexico, which shows for the first time the border between the United States and Mexico as finally delineated in 1857. Antonio García y Cubas is regarded as “el fundador de nuestra geografía como ciencia” (Dicc. Porrúa). Glass, p. 680 (citing the plates and commentary by José Fernández Ramírez on Códice de Sigüenza and Códice Boturini, both of which are important for Mesoamerican geography, cartography, and ethnohistory). Palau 98721. Phillips, America, p. 412. Phillips, Atlases 2683. Rumsey 4116. Sabin 26554 (stating that only 300 copies were printed).

     Antonio García y Cubas (1832-1912) is considered the father of modern Mexican geography. He is credited with publishing the first geographical chart of Mexico, and from 1879 to 1883 he and Manuel Orozco y Berra directed publication of the Revista Científica Mexicana. He was particularly important for presenting to the world a regularized, organized Mexico after the French intervention. He was especially adept at use of plates to convey his point, and the present work documents his genius in that regard. For more on José Fernández Ramírez, who wrote the commentary on the two Aztec peregrination maps, see Howard F. Cline, “Selected Nineteenth-Century Mexican Writers on Ethnohistory” in Handbook of Middle American Indians, Vol. 13 (Guide to Ethnohistorical Sources, Part 2), pp. 374-377.

     This early lithograph atlas of Mexico includes the work of Mexican pioneer lithographers Iriarte, Decaen, and Salazar. The illustrations are signed Muñozgüren and come from the lithographic shop of Iriarte & Cia., while the letterpress typography is by Lara. The atlas was created during the Golden Age of Mexican lithography (see Mathes, Mexico on Stone, pp. 17-32). The design and execution of the atlas are handsome, with the middle of each double-page spread being occupied by the map of a specific state or territory, surrounded by statistical and historical information about the region, including subjects of borderlands interest, such as Native American tribes and incursions. The large and fine general map of Mexico by Salazar is one of the finest maps of Mexico created in the nineteenth century, with a spirited Mexican eagle atop cactus at top center, and especially beautiful lithograph views on either side (Popocatepetl, Orizava, Cascada de Regla, Palenque, Mitla, Uxmal, etc.).

     The maps of the states that border with the United States are especially interesting for clearly delineating the changing boundaries over time. For instance, the map of Sonora shows the demarcation of the Treaty of Mesilla in 1853 (Gadsden Purchase). The map of Chihuahua shows the boundary line before and after the Gadsden Purchase. The Tamaulipas map shows the new boundary at the Rio Grande, as well as the older line of demarcation at the Nueces. The plates from Mapa Sigüenza and Códice Boturini are accompanied by the classic scholarly notes of José Fernando Ramírez of the Museo Nacional.

Perhaps the most cogent discussion of the naissance of García y Cubas’ 1858 atlas of Mexico is that of Raymond B. Craib, in “A Nationalist Metaphysics: State Fixations, National Maps, and the Geo-Historical Imagination in Nineteenth-Century Mexico” in Hispanic American Historical Review 82.1 (2002), pp. 33-68:

A national map had as much iconographic as it did instrumental power. It served the very basic function of defining a bounded space within which a newly emergent postimperial elite could purport to assert their power, confirm their continuing status, and legitimate their rights to rule and, in effect, represent. Moreover, a national map offered a symbolic affirmation of the political reality of an entity whose very existence was at the time increasingly called into question: a unified and sovereign Mexican nation-state. Rebellions in northern territories, the secession of Texas and the Yucatán, and regional conflicts all confounded any comforting thoughts of a unified national space and repeatedly raised the specter of total national disintegration. A national map refuted such troublesome realities by visually affirming what supposedly already existed: after all, if a map were simply a mimetic reflection of an objective reality, then a national map by definition presupposed the existence of the nation itself. The still-precarious and open-ended process of forging an independent Mexico appeared as authoritatively over, concluded, and confirmed. A scale-map of a nation-state, which furthered the ideological mirage of neutrality by applying presumably objective mathematical principles to map construction, thus argued backwards from the desired conclusion, serving as a model for, rather than of, what it purportedly represented.

Even simply delineating where Mexico ended and other nations presumably began could be significant at a time when established boundaries and territorial cohesion were increasingly regarded as integral features of the modern nation-state. Indeed, the powerful sway of territoriality as the basis for modern identity and control ensured that geographic science and its primary medium, the map, would occupy a place of preeminence in the nationalist repertoire. This was particularly the case by the 1840s. The increasingly strident predations of Mexico’s northern neighbor, with its fervent faith in Manifest Destiny, left little room or time for what one author has aptly termed “growing pains.” In a manner befitting their continentalist convictions, and further evidence of the power of the geographic imagination at the time, U.S. officials relied upon a kind of cartographic determinism to justify their imperial pretensions. Already in 1823 John Quincy Adams had equated geographical proximity with historical destiny when he promulgated his so-called ripe apple policy that argued that Cuba and Puerto Rico were “natural appendages to the North American continent,” fated to fall under U.S. control once the proper conditions prevailed. Soon after, in 1825, U.S. Secretary of State Henry Clay took such geographic determinism to an audacious extreme by suggesting to Mexican officials that turning over the northern reaches of Mexico would actually benefit the country by geographically centralizing its capital. By 1844 businessman and Democrat John O’Sullivan could comfortably assert that anyone “who cast a glance over the map of North America” could see that Texas was “a huge fragment, artificially broken off” from the continent to which it naturally belonged. He had little cause for concern: the presumably natural and national soon united.

The importance of the carta general took on dramatic significance with the Mexican-American War. While countries such as the United States, England, Spain, and France achieved a degree of self-definition through imperial expansion, Mexico’s imperative need to construct and present itself as a sovereign, independent nation-state arose in the face of invasion and perceived impotence. Antonio García Cubas put it dramatically in his summation of the armistice of 1847:

Our history is written simply by saying that Mexico and the United States are neighbors. At least France and England are separated by the Channel; between our nation and our neighbor there exists no other border than a simple mathematic line.... God help the Republic!

The members of the SMGE hinted at the continuing threat in the months following the armistice when they rhetorically asked, “how can one expect to understand the nation’s territorial extension, or consult regarding its defense, without the formation of a general map and one of each state and territory?”

Under these less than auspicious circumstances the SMGE’s new carta general appeared in 1850, hastily finished in the aftermath of the war and during the initial phases of the boundary demarcation. It contained a wealth of statistical information: comparative tables of principle mountain chains, including a Humboldtian comparison between those of Mexico and the major mountains of Europe; computation of the size of the republic in square leagues according to total territory; physical configuration insets; and charts of the major rivers. It also included a visual elaboration of the amount of territory lost in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and the demarcation of the new international limits between Mexico and the United States. Reflective of the increasing primacy of the visual in the nineteenth century, the image purportedly brought an expression of bitterness from General Antonio López de Santa Anna who, for the first time, could actually envision the magnitude of territory Mexico had lost. The map was never published, partly because of a financial shortfall, and in 1851 a foreign traveler, Brantz Mayer, warned others that “there is no complete map of the territory which may be confidently relied upon.”

The need for a published and circulated Mexican-produced national map became even more pronounced when, in 1854, Mexico lost another portion of its territorial claims as a partial result of a faulty U.S. map. Article 5 of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo dictated that John Disturnell’s 1846 Mapa de los Estados-Unidos de Méjico be used in the setting of the boundary line between the two nations. However, perceived defects in the map-particularly with regards to the location of El Paso and the course of the Río Grande-helped justify renewed U.S. territorial claims, culminating in the 1853-54 Gadsden Purchase. Regardless of the role Santa Anna and others played in the politics of the Purchase, Mexican intellectuals were convinced that Mexico needed an accurate, reliable, and internationally accepted and published national map of its own.

But was it enough to merely delineate the nation’s territorial extent? Otero, in 1847, observed that it was “useless to point out that the Mexican republic possesses an immense territory of more than [840,000 square miles]” when Mexico itself lacked a “national spirit.” After the war, a new carta general, constructed by Antonio García Cubas in 1856, would both proffer an iconographic image of the state’s new parameters and fill that territory with the ghosts of the past, creating an image of a single national spirit.

($4,000-8,000)

Auction 23 Abstracts

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