Rare Pocket Map of Mexico, Central America & the U.S. Borderlands

By the Worthy Successor of the Venerable Arrowsmith Firm

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375. [MAP]. STANFORD, Edward. Mexico, Guatemala, Salvador and British Honduras. Scale, 1: 5,274,720, 83·25 English Miles to 1 Inch. English Statute Miles 68·83=1º Lat. [scales] The Mexican States are separated by Red Lines. Railways...Submarine Telegraph Cables.... [below neat line] London Atlas Service | 1612 | London: Edward Stanford, 12, 13, & 14, Long Acre. W.C. | Stanford’s Geogl. Estabt., London. [table at lower left inside neat line] Table of Altitudes in English Feet above sea level. London, n.d. [January 16, 1902]. Lithograph map with full original color, neat line to neat line: 50 x 64.5 cm; overall sheet size: 52 x 70 cm, sectioned and mounted on original cartographic linen (18 sections), folded into pocket covers, original dark green cloth (17.8 x 12 cm), maize printed label on upper cover (London Atlas Map of Mexico, &c. London, Edward Stanford, Geographer to His Majesty the King. 12, 13, 14, Long Acre, W.C.), broadside printed on pale yellow paper affixed to verso of front board with publisher’s ads (Stanfords’ Library Maps. New and Revised Editions, Reduced in Price...). Absolutely superb condition. Very rare. The map also appeared in Stanford’s atlas (London Atlas of Universal Geography), but this separate pocket map format is very rare. Copies located in OCLC: University of Texas (Benson) and University of Kansas (Lawrence).

     First edition, first issue, published January 16, 1902, according to Francis Herbert’s explanation of Stanford’s dating practices (“The ‘London Atlas of Universal Geography’ from John Arrowsmith to Edward Stanford: Origin, Development and Dissolution of a British World Atlas from the 1830s to the 1930s” in Imago Mundi, Vol. 41, 1989, pp. 98-123). Subsequently the map appeared in Stanford’s third edition of the firm’s London Atlas of Universal Geography published by the Stanford firm in 1904 et seq. The map includes the U.S. and border from San Diego to east of Montgomery, Alabama, including most of Texas (as far north as Wichita Falls). Located are some recently founded towns in the Texas Panhandle, such as Floydada, Brownfield, Aspermont, etc. Mexico is shown in its entirety, including Baja California. The map extends southward to Honduras, Salvador, and northern Nicaragua. The Pacific Ocean includes the Revilla-Gigedo Islands, and on the east is the Gulf of Mexico, Campeche Bay, and Yucatan Channel. Relief is shown by hachure, and located are mountains, rivers, cities and towns, Mexican states, and railways. Among the features shown are the telegraph lines between Galveston, Tampico, and Veracruz (completed around 1879) and the undersea cables between Mexico and Guatemala (laid in 1887).

     This is a precise, handsome map with excellent detail and updates, executed by the highest standards, as one would expect from the highly regarded Stanford map establishment. Edward Stanford, Senior FRGS (1827-1904) established the map, atlas, and globe publishing company in 1854 in Long Acre, London, where the firm still flourishes. Edward, Jr. (1856-1917), carried on the business and was appointed Royal geographer to Queen Victoria in 1893 and subsequently to Edward VII. Early in their existence the firm advanced with the acquisition of the maps of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, and even more so with their purchase of the stock of the venerable firm of John Arrowsmith (Tooley’s Dictionary of Mapmakers, revised edition, Vol. I, pp. 47-49), whose 1834 atlas and its successors created a high mark for publication of atlases. Stanford’s publication of the official maps of the Royal Geographical Society and the various Ordnance and Survey entities allowed for enrichment of the firm, both monetarily and in status. Tooley’s Dictionary of Mapmakers, revised edition, Vol. IV, pp. 203-204: “Stanford publications were numerous and wide ranging.” A side note of interest from Lord Herbert’s excellent article on Arrowsmith and Stanford reveals what became of some of the copper plates Stanford acquired from the Arrowsmith firm: “In February 1916, the copperplates of Arrowsmith LAUG [London Atlas of Universal Geography] plate numbers 1, 3, 4, 6-8, 10, 11, 16-19, 23-26, (possibly 28), 29-33, 38-40, 43, 44, and 46-50 (and [51]) were sold. This was probably for their value as copper scrap metal, rather than for re-use by another printer/publisher.”


Sold. Hammer: $400.00; Price Realized: $490.00.

Auction 23 Abstracts

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