Exceedingly Rare Map of Llano County, Texas,
Emphasizing Mineral Deposits

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617. [MAP]. ROESSLER, A[nton] R. (cartographer) & M[aximilian] v[on] Mittendorfer (draftsman). Map of Llano County Showing Geology, Mineral Localities, Topography etc. Surveys Taken from the Official Map of the General L.O. by A.R. Roessler Drawn by M. v. Mittendorfer Publication Office: 83 Nassau St. N.Y. 1875. [upper right: untitled vignette of miners] [lower right: key, showing mineral formations followed by “Explanations with a key to features and mineral feature”]. Lithograph map of Llano County, Texas, mounted on original linen and original wooden rollers; border to border: 37.5 x 51 cm; overall sheet size: 38 x 58.5 cm. Vertically creased, light stain at upper center, margins lightly chipped, one crack at upper right intruding into vignette, a few minor losses from chipping. Overall a good copy of a very detailed county-cadastral map showing all land owners, waterways, roads, settlements, geological features. OCLC lists only the photocopy held by the Library of Congress, but the DRT Alamo Library has an original (James Papers).

     This map precedes the first official Llano County map put out by the General Land Office in 1879. Exceedingly rare, early, important map of Llano County by two important cartographers. Hungarian Anton R. Roessler (1826-1893) was a notable cartographer, topographer, draftsman, geologist, real estate promoter, self-promoter, and “the most thorough and ideal crank of any age” (p. 156, Vassar Collection Newsletter). His training, said to have been in Vienna, must have been rock solid, because Roessler became one of the best cartographers in Texas when he emigrated to Austin in 1860. In 1860-1861 Roessler served as a draftsman, cartographer, and geologist for the Shumard Survey, the first in-depth geological and agricultural survey of Texas. Regrettably, the Shumard Survey was derailed due to the exigencies of politics and the Civil War. Unlike some other members of the survey team, Roessler remained in Texas and served as chief draftsman of the Austin arsenal during the Texas Confederacy. Though later accused of plagiarism (and worse), which Roessler hotly contested, there is no doubt that he was responsible for preserving documentation on the 1858 Shumard Survey, which otherwise would have been lost or destroyed when the geological survey rooms were converted to a percussion-cap factory for the Confederacy. Roessler was accused of stealing the Shumard survey data for private use in his mining and real estate ventures (the Texas Land and Copper Association and the Texas Land and Immigration Company of New York). In the late 1860s, Roessler worked as a geologist for the United States Land Office in Washington, D.C. In the 1870s he created sixteen county maps and at least three maps of Texas that bear his name. See Handbook of Texas Online: Anton R. Roessler; also, Keith Young, “The Roessler Maps,” Texas Journal of Science 17 (March 1965). Roessler’s incorporation of detailed documentation from the Shumard Survey into his maps make them the most reliable nineteenth-century record of the agricultural and mineral wealth of the state.

     The now flooded site of Bluffton is shown in the curve of the Colorado River with its vital crossing to Burnet at Maxwell’s Ferry, just to the southeast. At the upper top right is Falls Creek, only accessible by boat until recently. Although once a thriving town of the Hill Country, today Bluffton is inhabited by 75 people, more cows than people, and five million deer.


Sold. Hammer: $2,500.00; Price Realized: $3,062.50.

Auction 23 Abstracts

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