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Texas Sheet from the First Cerographic Atlas


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345.     [MAP]. MORSE, Sidney E[dwards] & Samuel Breese. Texas. New York, 1844. Cerographic engraved map of Texas, printed blue-line underlay, original hand coloring of borders in blue, neat line to neat line: 38 x 31 cm (the map extends beyond neat line at Presidio Rio Grande and Matamoros); overall sheet size: 44.2 x 36.3 cm; relief shown by hachure. Very fine. Matted, maple frame with gilt liner, glazed.

     First printing. This atlas map was published as Map 23 in the first cerographic atlas: Morse’s North American Atlas (issued in parts, New York: Harper & Brothers, 1842-1845). Day, Maps of Texas, p. 38. Phillips, America, p. 844. Phillips, Atlases 1228. Ristow, American Maps and Mapmakers, p. 154. Rumsey 2301.033. The Republic of Texas is shown without its Panhandle, having a northern border along the present Oklahoma-Texas border, as far west as a bit beyond Old Wichita Village, which is slightly south of present Lawton, Oklahoma. A good deal of the Trans-Pecos is absent, with the map running west to Presidio Rio Grande, at approximately 101° West. Shown are the usual features: towns, villages, counties, forts, mountain ranges, rivers and bodies of water, descriptions of regions (“Upper Cross Timbers, “Range of the Comanches,” etc.), and landmarks such as Enchanted Rock, Old San Saba Fort, Alamo, etc.

     This map is important for its early use of cerography or wax engraving, which led to mass production of maps and wider availability of maps to the populace. (See also Item 302 herein.) Morse and Breese invented cerography, which they began using in 1839. Morse tried to keep the process secret, but it became widely used in mapmaking, especially after Rand, McNally began employing wax engraving. Wax engraving remained an important map printing technique until the mid-twentieth century. Unlike engraving or lithography, which demanded the laborious drawing of a negative image, cerography allowed the image to be drawn directly—the positive image is drawn onto a wax-covered plate that is then used as a mold from which a master printing plate is cast by an electroplating process. Images could be easily cut into the soft wax layer using very little pressure. Various sized gravers could be used, commercial tools could stamp letters directly into the wax, even wheels with designs were used to draw boundary lines. See Woodward, David, The All-American Map: Wax Engraving and Its Influence on Cartography (Chicago, 1977, p. 14 ff.).


Sold. Hammer: $550.00; Price Realized: $660.00

Auction 22 Abstracts

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