Fine Double-Sheet Map of Texas by Colton

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597. [MAP]. COLTON, G[eorge] W[oolworth] & C[harles] B. (publishers). Colton’s Texas Published by G.W. & C.B. Colton & Co. 182 William St New York. [between scale and border at lower right] Entered according to Act of Congress in the year 1873 by G.W. & C.B. Colton & Co. in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington. [inset map at left center] Plan of Matagorda Bay [inset map at lower left] Plan of the Northern Part or Panhandle of Texas on the same scale as the main map. [inset map above Panhandle map] Plan of Sabine Lake [inset map to right of Panhandle map] Plan of Galveston Bay [above border at left and right respectively] No. 55 | No. 56. New York, 1873 or after. Lithograph map within ornate border, original hand coloring (pastel wash on counties); border to border: 44 x 70.5 cm. Map on lilac board mounted on raw linen, plain wooden frame, under glass. Fine, large double-page map from a Colton atlas.

     Phillips, America, p. 847. At this point Colton had access to the leading authorities on the geography of Texas, including De Cordova, Roessler, Texas General Land Office Surveys, U.S. official surveys, and railroad surveys. Thus the map has superb detail for all parts of Texas, including forts, old presidios, railroads, trails, roads, rivers, springs, waterways, post offices, etc. Reflecting a continuing controversy, Greer County in north Texas is still shown as part of the Lone Star State, even though it was eventually ceded to Oklahoma. Once again, Texas is too big to fit on a map as a single geographic unit, even a double-page sheet in a Colton atlas. At least Colton was more charitable than S. Augustus Mitchell in his 1867 Texas map (see herein). Mitchell simply lopped off the Texas Panhandle, but here Colton provides the top of the Panhandle in the inset at the lower left, and at the same scale as the rest of the map.
     This map is from one of the many editions of Colton’s various atlases. Rumsey (4587.046) lists an almost identical map with attributed date 1874, although the year 1874 does not appear on the Rumsey map. The Rumsey map gives the address of Colton as 172 William St., and our map has an address of 182 William St. Rumsey’s map includes bright rose outlining not on our map. Our atlas page numbers are 55 and 56; Rumsey’s page numbers are trimmed, but with numbers 6 and 5 still visible at upper left and right. Ristow, American Maps and Map Makers, p. 313 et seq: “The other major map publishing firm of this period [besides S. Augustus Mitchell] was founded by Joseph Hutchins Colton in New York City in 1831... Colton’s entrance into the atlas field was quite late; their first atlas was not issued until 1855... The General Atlas apparently proved to be a popular publication, and it was reissued in revised editions to 1888... After 1864 the General Atlas was published by G.W. and C.B. Colton & Company.” Ristow includes a good history of the printing methods used by the Colton firm, explaining that even though the title pages often declared the maps to be steel engravings, in reality sometimes they were actually in a different medium, such as lithography, as was used on the present map.


Sold. Hammer: $325.00; Price Realized: $398.13.

Auction 23 Abstracts

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