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October 26, 2007

Early American Traveller’s Guide
With Engraved Portrait of George Washington by Chapin

154. [MAP]. WEBSTER, J[ames]. Map of the United States Published by J. Webster New-York. 1836. Entered according to Act of Congress, on the 20th. of March 1834: by James Webster, in the Office of the Clerk of the Southern District of New York. Engraved by Wm. Chapin. N. York [lower right: large portrait of George Washington within oval decorative border] [lower center] Population of the United States.... [New York, 1836]. Engraved map on thin paper (backed with tissue), original outline coloring (yellow, rose, green, blue), piano-key border, neat line to neat line: 40.5 x 49.8 cm. With foldout letterpress broadside: Travellers Guide and Statistical View of the United States (text within ornamental typographical border, 45.3 x 57 cm). Folded into original pocket covers (13.3 x 9 cm), original black leather over stiff boards covered with navy blue paper, lettered in gilt on both covers (upper cover: Webster’s Traveller’s Guide; and on lower cover: Complete Guide Through The United States). Fragile covers moderately rubbed with light chipping, broadside with folds strengthened and minor losses along folds. Map lightly stained at right side, split along folds, with some minor losses. Overall very good.

            American Imprints 42373. Eberstadt 138:724 (1834 edition). Rumsey 3450. Sabin 102324. The makers of such pocket maps extensively borrowed, stole, traded, and legitimately purchased from one another the information found in such guides. Webster’s guide is no exception, and Mitchell and Phelps are among the conjectured sources for the present work. Of special interest is the exuberantly engraved and charmingly executed portrait of George Washington done with a variety of engraving techniques (including stipple and line engraving) and the barely discernable engraved statement on the map: Engraved by Wm Chapin. The Philadelphia artist-engraver was William Chapin (1801-1888), who worked in Philadelphia, Baltimore, and New York (see Groce & Wallace, p. 118 and Stauffer, Fielding & Gage, American Engravers upon Copper and Steel I, pp. 43-44). Fielding (p. 145) states: “About 1827, Mr. Chapin turned his attention to projecting and engraving maps, and in time he established an extensive map business in New York. Chapin’s large map of the United States is said to be the first map engraved upon steel in this country” (see American Imprints 54885 & Phillips, America, p. 892).

            This scarce map and guide shows the young Republic west of the Missouri Territory and locates Long’s Peak. The territories of tribes are located, such as the Comanche, Black Foot, Sioux, Iowa, and Cheyenne. Most of present-day Texas is shown, although still designated as part of Mexico (the only located town is Nacogdoches). Rivers are delineated, and Galveston and Matagorda Bays, Aransas Inlet Bay, and Padre Island are pinpointed. ($750-1,500)

Sold. Hammer: $750.00; Price Realized: $881.25

Auction 21 Abstracts

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