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October 26, 2007

Separately Issued Traveller’s Pocket Map of Mexico

86. [MAP]. COLTON, J[oseph] H[utchins]. Colton’s Mexico Published by J. H. Colton, 172 William St. New York. 1861. Entered According to Act of Congress in the Year 1854 by J. H. Colton in the Clerks Office of the District Court for the Southern District of New York. [inset map at lower left, 10.3 x 6.5 cm] Territory and Isthmus of Tehuantepec. [New York, 1861]. Lithograph map on bank note paper, original hand coloring of Mexico, borders with Guatemala and the United States in bright rose, ornate border, neat line to neat line: 27.4 x 35.5 cm; border to border: 31.5 x 40.2 cm. Folded into original pocket covers (12.7 x 8.5 cm), original red cloth, lettered in gilt on upper cover (Mapa de Méjico por J. H. Colton Nueva York), both covers blind-embossed, printed yellow leaf (Colton’s ad and list of publications) affixed to verso of front board: Maps, Atlases, and Statistical Works, J. H. Colton. No. 172 William St. New York...). Verso with two light red ink stamps of Escuelas Pias, Mataró, and one purple overstrike; recto and verso with old ms. shelf marks in ink (not affecting image or ornate border. Moderately stained at left where attached to pocket folder. A few small holes expertly filled (some minor loss, especially to first word of title). Covers slightly darkened. Overall very good, crisp and fine, excellent color retention. Scarce map in pocket format.

            Later edition (the map is dated 1861, and its copyright date is 1854). Not in Phillips. This map of Mexico includes most of Texas and the United States south of the 34th parallel, and is a fine example of a separately issued traveller’s map. It would have provided an excellent reference for anyone travelling to or through Mexico in 1861, and thus provides us with a picture of the country in that distant time. Colton based his maps on the most authoritative sources available at the time, providing much information on Mexico, Texas, and the borderlands, especially railroads, topography, survey lines, towns, roads, and much else.

            The map is very similar in the area shown on the next map in this catalogue, but it is from a different stone. Here the map is in English (though the same pocket cover title of Mapa De Mexico has been retained). The inset of Tehuantepec is unchanged but positioned at lower left. Not present on this version are the statistical table, ships at sea, etc. Most notable is the different border. Taken together this map and the one in the next lot reveal how adept the Colton firm was at updating and issuing newer maps of old subjects. ($400-800)

Sold. Hammer: $850.00; Price Realized: $998.75

Auction 21 Abstracts

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