Best Popple Maps for Texas & Mexico Region Plus Title Sheet With Elaborate Pictorial Cartouche

From the First Large-Scale Printed Map of America

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354. [MAP]. POPPLE, Henry. A Map of the British Empire in America with the French and Spanish Settlements Adjacent Thereto. London, [1733 or after?]. 3 uncolored, individual untitled copper-engraved map sheets. Sheets 9, 13, and 17 (of 20); see below. Overall size of the three: Approximately 162 x 72 cm; about 5 feet x 28.5 inches. Other than light marginal chipping and a few mainly marginal stains, fine.

Sheet 9: Untitled, showing from north of 38th parallel to south of 28th parallel (northern New Mexico to Ohio river and south to northern Mexico from St. Lorenzo in Chihuahua and Santa Fe area to Pensacola), including all but the far southern tip of Texas (Spanish settlements are shown all along the Rio Grande), also Louisiana and Mississippi; neat line to neat line: 48.8 x 66 cm; overall sheet size: 51.7 x 70.4 cm

Sheet 13: Untitled, showing north of 27th parallel to south of 16th parallel (the Borderlands from St. Felipe in Chihuahua to Acapulco and the Bay of Honduras, including South Texas and the lower Rio Grande); neat line to neat line, 48.5 x 66 cm; overall sheet size: 52.4 x 72 cm.

Sheet 17: A Map of the British Empire with the French and Spanish Settlements adjacent thereto by Henry Popple [lower portion of large, pictorial cartouche with imprint] C. Lempriere inv. & del. Baron Sculp. (the foreground of the cartouche shows Native Americans, palm tree, monkeys, alligator, head of a European bearded man with an arrow shot in his forehead, open treasure chest, etc.; in the background Europeans are busily engaged in various activities and offshore are ships at sea). Sheet 17 shows from north of parallel 15 to south of parallel 5 (southeast San Salvador to south of Granada, Nicaragua) neat line to neat line: 45 x 67 cm; overall sheet size: 52 x 72 cm.

     There were several issues of Popple’s great map beginning in 1733, “the first large-scale printed map of North America” (Schwartz & Ehrenberg, p. 151 & Plate 90; see also Babinski’s study on Popple). Bornholdt, Cuatro Siglos de Expresiones Geográfocas de Istmo Centroamericano, p. 124 #64 (commenting on the cartouche): “This magnificent contrast to many other maps the natives are portrayed in a proud and serene attitude. On the beach traders exchange their wares in peaceful commerce.... The reader must decide who the poor individual with an arrow through his forehead might represent or what message this is supposed to transmit.” Graff 3322. Howes P481. Lowery 338. Phillips, America 569. Rumsey 2874.002 (entire 1733 map); Rumsey 2874.011 (Sheet 9); Rumsey 2874.015 (Sheet 13); Rumsey 2874.019 (Sheet 17). Sabin 64140. Streeter Sale 676: “The best map of North America issued to the time of its publication.” Taliaferro, Cartographic Sources in the Rosenberg Library (sheets 9 & 13): “Henry Popple’s Map of the British Empire...was the most important English depiction of North America to date. It is especially remarkable for its grand scale... Sheets 9 and 13 show the Gulf coast from Pensacola west to the Spanish settlements on the upper Rio Grande and inland to the southern parallel of Kansas. Most of Popple’s information for the Gulf Coast came from De Lisle’s Carte de la Louisiane...1718 [see Delisle in the map section herein], but there are curious differences, such as the form given to the river system that drains into Mobile Bay.” Tooley, Mapping of America, p. 316. Winsor V, p. 82. See also Cumming, The Southeast in Early Maps 216

     The sheets present here are the most desirable ones for collections on Mexico and Texas. The three maps framed together would be quite handsome, especially with the large, fine cartouche with its implications.


Sold. Hammer: $7,000.00; Price Realized: $8,575.00.

Auction 23 Abstracts

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