German Interpretation of Frémont’s American West with an Emphasis on the Germany Colony in Texas

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318. [MAP]. KIEPERT, H[einrich]. Mexico Texas und Californien. [below neat line] Bearbeitet und gezeichnet von H. Kiepert | Weimar, Verlag des Geographischen Instituts, 1847 | Situation und Schrift gestochen von K. Mädel, Terrain von C. Jungmann. [inset at lower left] Plateau von Mexico im doppelten Maasstab der Hauptkarte [inset at upper right] Die Republiken von Central-America im Maasstab der Hauptkarte. [profile at lower margin] Durchschnitt des Hochlandes von Anahuac...nach A. v. Humboldt. Weimar: Geographische Institut, 1847. Engraved map of the American West, Texas, the Gulf Coast to Tallahassee, Mexico, and Central America, with original outline coloring; neat line to neat line: 53.5 x 62.5 cm; overall sheet size: 60 x 72.4 cm. Light and expert stabilization (marginal and centerfold reinforcement), no losses. Overall fine, with restrained original coloring. Uncommon in commerce.

     First edition. The map appeared in Carl Ferdinand Weiland’s 1848 Allgemeiner Hand-Atlas der ganzen Erde... (Phillips 6107, Map 69). This atlas came out from 1804-1893, with constant revisions and new maps added, such as this one. The present map subsequently appeared in the atlas with revisions in 1849, 1851, 1852, 1853, 1855 (and possibly other years). Rumsey 2077:63 (citing the 1855 printing). Subsequent editions of this map that appeared in Weiland’s atlas indicate the rapid changes that occurred in the Western United States as a result of the Mexican-American War, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, the California Gold Rush, the Gadsden Purchase, and the creation of new territories and states. The key at left traces the various boundary changes, beginning with the Adam-Onís Treaty. Wheat notes that Kiepert based his map of the Western regions on Frémont and cites the 1851 edition of the present map (Mapping the Transmississippi West #723n; Maps of the California Gold Region #199n).

     Kiepert’s rendering of Texas and its then-disputed boundary walks a line of circumspect neutrality. Kiepert shows two blue outlined boundaries, one in the Emory conformation with the overextended, ambitious Panhandle, along with another possibility, the truncated version of Texas without Panhandle and with southwestern boundary at the Nueces River. The outlining of Texas’s boundary with Mexico is thin and tentative, but the other boundaries are quite boldly colored. The German Colony in Texas is shaded pale green and labeled Deutsche Colonie des Mainzer Verein (the largest influx of Germans to Texas occurred between 1844 and 1847) through the efforts of the Adelsverein, also known as Verein zum Schutze Deutscher Einwanderer in Texas, or the German Emigration Company). Shown at Castroville is a French colony. Detail is good in California, such as the Russian colony, though it is too early for the Gold Regions to be located.

     Noted German geographer Heinrich Kiepert (1818-1899) made a life-long career in cartography, and his maps are noted for their density and incredible detail. Kiepert’s most important set of maps was the Formae Orbis Antiqui, the fulfillment of his desire for a definitive classical atlas (still considered an authority in the field). Kiepert’s maps are rare, especially the few he devoted to Texas, California, the West, and Mexico. Carl Ferdinand Weiland (1782-1847) began his career as an independent engraver and artist at the Weimar Geographisches Institut in 1812 and subsequently served as their cartographic editor. His successor was the maker of this map, Heinrich Kiepert.


Sold. Hammer: $1,500.00; Price Realized: $1,837.50.

Auction 23 Abstracts

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