AUCTION 23

 
 

Reorganizing Mexico’s Geographical Divisions under Emperor Maximilian

 
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290. [MAP]. EXPEDITION DU MEXIQUE. MEXICO. SECOND EMPIRE. Collection of nine maps, printed and manuscript, relating to the reorganization of Mexico’s geographical divisions under Emperor Maximilian, laid together in a contemporary portfolio (46 x 30 cm), contemporary green leather over mottled boards with contemporary handwritten ink title label on upper cover (“Expedition du Méxique”) with cutouts of two illustrations of Mesoamerican sculptures. Five of the maps appear to be working maps from ca. 1864-1865, a sixth map (Michoacan) was lithographed in Mexico in 1863, and the remaining three maps were printed in Paris in 1891. The portfolio is very heavily worn and scuffed. Condition reports for individual maps below. Provenance: Found in France and apparently assembled by a member of the French Commission Scientifique du Mexique under Maximilian.

Maps

[1]  DECAEN Y CÍA (lithographers). Carta general del Imperio Mexicano formada y corregida con presencia de los últimos datos y el auxilio de las autoridades mas competentes. Formada y Corregida Con presencia de los últimos datos y el Auxilio de las autoridades mas competentes. México, Impa. Litoga. de Decaen, Editor. Esquina del Callejon del Espiritu Santo y Coliseo Viejo. 1864. [3 inset maps below and left of title, all in cartouche resembling scroll]: [1] Puerto de Matamoros; [2] Golfo de Mexico; [3] Tamaulipas; [key with symbols to right of inset maps]: Explicacion de los Signos. [2 profiles at lower right]: [1] Perfil del camino de México á Veracruz; [2] Perfil del camino de México á Acapulco; [comparative illustrations of mountains with key at lower center]: Comparacion de las principales montañas del Imperio segun su altura; [comparative illustration of rivers, above mountains preceding]: Comparacion de las principales rios del Imperio; [inset map at lower left]: Croquis de los Caminos de Mexico á Vera-Cruz; [table above preceding inset map]: Estado comparativo de poblacion del’ Imperio...; [table of distances above preceding table]: Tabla de distancias. [lines demarking the Gadsden Purchase and the original Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo boundary]. Mexico: Decaen y Cía, 1864. Lithograph map (Mexico, Central America, most of Texas and Florida, and the Gulf of Mexico), on 4 sheets, original linen backing with brass eyelets at each corner and two extra at top; neat line to neat line: 77.5 x 112.5 cm; overall sheet size: 78.1 x 114.5 cm. Upper left section missing (13 x 9 cm), creased at folds, overall browning and light waterstaining along centerfold (more visible on verso).

     Given the context in which this map was found and the accompanying manuscript maps, it seems likely that the present map was a working copy used to reorganize the territorial division of Mexico (the resulting reorganized map was printed in 1865). OCLC locates two copies of the present map: Newberry and University of Chicago. At least one copy is in Mexico, in the Orozco y Berra Collection (No. 1020). The map is illustrated in El Territorio Mexicano, Vol. I, p. 311 (folding plate). For a digital image of this map and a good discussion on its historical background see UNAM, “La División Territorial del Segundo Imperio Mexicano” http://www.historicas.unam.mx/moderna/ehmc/ehmc12/153.html. Emperor Maximilian arrived in Mexico on May 28, 1864, and on July 27 of the same year he assigned to Manuel Orozco y Berra (1816-1881) the task of developing a new territorial and political division of the Mexican Empire, due to his excellent cartographic work and deep knowledge of the geography and history of Mexico. Orozco y Berra was entrusted to take charge of the survey and redistricting and became a member of the French Commission Scientifique du Mexique. The UNAM essay above refers to Edmund O’Gorman’s comments on the importance of Orozco’s redistricting (in translated paraphrase, from Historia de las divisiones territoriales de México, México, Editorial Porrúa, 1966): The history of the division of Mexico’s territory can be reduced to a long narrative of conflicts between various regions of the country to achieve greater territorial expansion at the expense of others and prejudice the public good. Maximilian and his government were the only regime that attempted territorial and political divisions based on science and good management, which are the cornerstones of any democratic system. Orozco y Berra’s work took into account such things as the natural configuration of the land, distribution of water, the nature of the population, and their fiscal and economic affinities or lack thereof.

[2]  Manuscript map: “Guerre du Mexique Expédition dite de l’interieur Carte du territoire parcouru les troupes françaises.” Black and blue ink on heavy paper. Region shown: upper left: Bolaños; upper center: Zacatecas; upper right: Tala (Jalisco); lower left: Colima; lower right: Toluca and Mexico City. Shown in dark blue ink are Rio de Lerma and Rio Grande. N.p., n.d. 13 x 49.5 cm. Tear at right at lower center (no losses). Fine, showing a large area in Central Mexico that was explored by a French party.

[3]  Untitled manuscript map with table (“Parties”) at top left, below which is Huexocinco; Cofre de Perote at top right; key to villages forts, etc. (“Explicacion des Signes”) and Atlixo at lower left; Acatepec at lower right. Drawn on cartographical linen. Precisely executed with superb detail, outlining boundaries and other details in color. N.p., n.d. 64 x 87.5 cm. Some light browning, but overall a large, fine finished map, probably from a field survey.

[4]  Untitled manuscript map in black ink and a few features in red; region shown: upper left: Lac de Zumpango and Cuautitlan; upper right: Zacatlan; lower left: Tlalpan; lower right: south of Huexocingo. Drawn on cartographical linen. Precisely executed with good detail detail. N.p., n.d. 50 x 66 cm. Very fine.

[5]  Untitled manuscript map of Guadalajara and surrounding regions: Tequila at upper left; Atemajac at lower left; Tololotlán and Laguna de Chapala at right; road and waters shown in black and blue respectively, towns in red. Ink on paper mounted on contemporary paper board, with remains of original lilac ribbon in hole at top. N.p., n.d. Irregular shape (upper right corner cut away), approximately 28 x 34.5 cm. A bit of light staining at copy center and some minor creasing and browning.

[6]  ARRIZAGA, José María. Carta geografica del obispado de Michoacan en 1863, Formada por el Sr. Canónigo Lic. D. José María Arrizaga. [below neat line at left] Lit de Salazar. [Mexico City], 1863. Lithograph map with outline color and key, neat line to neat line: 39 x 28 cm. Boundaries redefined with contemporary dark brown ink. Ink note at top: “Feuille No. 11” and at bottom “Ed. Tierroy.” Margins trimmed close and a bit ragged, a few splits and tears, minor loss to lower neat line. Orozco y Berra, Materials para una cartografie mexicana 1018.

[7]  Carta agronómica. Carte agronomique. Algodon Coton [below neat line] A. Donamette, Imp. | Gravée chez Monrocq Sc.-Paris. Paris, n.d. [1891]. Title in Spanish and French. Chromolithograph map; neat line to neat line: 71 x 96.5 cm; overall sheet size: 75 x 103 cm. A few splits at folds (no losses), else fine. Color keyed map to cotton production in Mexico. This map and the next two were part of a scientific publication that began to be published in Paris in 1889: Bosquejo de una carta geologica de la Republica Mexicana. Formada por disposicion del Secretario de Fomento, Gral. C. Pacheco, por una Comision especial. Bajo la direccion del Profesor A. del Castillo, director de la escuela Nacional de Ingenieros.

[8]  Carta agronómica. Carte agronomique. Maíz Maïs [below neat line] A. Donamette, Imp. | Gravée chez Monrocq Sc.-Paris. Paris, n.d. [1891]. Title in Spanish and French. Chromolithograph map; neat line to neat line: 71 x 96.5 cm; overall sheet size: 75 x 103 cm. A few splits at folds (no losses), else fine. Color keyed map to corn production in Mexico.

[9]  Carta altimétrica. Carte Altimétrique. [below neat line] A. Donamette, Imp. | Gravée chez Monrocq Sc.-Paris. Paris, n.d. [1891]. Title in Spanish and French. Chromolithograph map; neat line to neat line: 71 x 96.5 cm; overall sheet size: 75 x 103 cm. A few splits at folds (no losses), else fine. Color keyed map to agricultural zones in Mexico.

     For more on the French Commission Scientifique du Mexique under Maximilian see lot 149 herein.

($4,000-$6,000)

Auction 23 Abstracts

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