Category Archives: 18th Century Maps

Strait of Anian

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(Detail of) Nova Totius Terrarum Orbis Geographica Ac Hydrographica Tabula. By Claes Jansz Visscher. Copper-plate engraving, 1639-1652. LINK.

Today we are sharing several of our antique maps that feature the mythical Strait of Anian, which first appeared on maps in the mid-16th century. This strange waterway shows up on maps until the late 17th century, finally disappearing once the northwest coast of North America was fully explored and documented. What is so fascinating about these make-believe places and watery bodies is their evolution; depending on the year and map maker, they tend to migrate to new locations and change in size and importance.

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(Detail of) Carte des parties nord et ouest de l’Amerique. By Didier Robert de Vaugondy. Published by Diderot et d’Alembert, Paris. Copper engraving, 1772. LINK.

In the mid-16th century, the Strait of Anian was located near what is now the Bering Strait. The Strait was a short channel of water between northeastern Asia and northwestern America. Towards the end of the 17th century, the Strait of Anian migrates south, closer to California. In these maps, the Strait joins up with other waterways that stretch across North America, creating the mythical Northwest Passage. Many hoped (and believed) in a marine route that would connect the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, but spare travelers the dangerous and long voyage around the southern tip of South America. Surely a tempting prospect, the idea of a Northwest Passage across North America was bolstered by falsified travel stories and imperial ambition. The Strait of Anian became the western access point to a navigable route that eventually ended in the French-owned Hudson Bay.

The fabled and fictitious Strait was finally removed from maps in the early 18th century, thanks to westward expansion and exploration.

America sive India Nova. By Michael Mercator. Published by Rumold Mercator, Duisburg. Copper plate engraving, 1595 (c.1616-1619). LINK.

America sive India Nova. By Michael Mercator. Published by Rumold Mercator, Duisburg. Copper plate engraving, 1595 (c.1616-1619). LINK.

Nova Totius Terrarum Orbis Geographica Ac Hydrographica Tabula. By Pieter van den Keere. Issued by Joannes Jansonius, Amsterdam. Copper-plate engraving, handcolored, 1608 - c.1630. LINK.

Nova Totius Terrarum Orbis Geographica Ac Hydrographica Tabula. By Pieter van den Keere. Issued by Joannes Jansonius, Amsterdam. Copper-plate engraving, handcolored, 1608 – c.1630. LINK.

Werelt Caert. By Pieter and Jacob Keur. Published by Daniel Stoopendaal. Copper plate engraving, c.1680. LINK.

Werelt Caert. By Pieter and Jacob Keur. Published by Daniel Stoopendaal. Copper plate engraving, c.1680. LINK.

Carte Generale des Decouvertes de l'Amiral de Fonte representant la grande probabilite d'un Passage au Nord Ouest par Thomas Jefferys. By Didier Robert de Vaugondy. Published Paris. Copper engraving, 1772. LINK.

Carte Generale des Decouvertes de l’Amiral de Fonte representant la grande probabilite d’un Passage au Nord Ouest par Thomas Jefferys. By Didier Robert de Vaugondy. Published Paris. Copper engraving, 1772. LINK.

 

 

New Additions: French and Indian War map

NEW ADDITIONS bannerNEW ADDITIONSNew to the Old Print Gallery is an unusual folio-sized map of English colonies, shown approximately at the close of the French and Indian War. No cartographer or publisher’s name is given. The map was a folded insert in “History of War in America”, printed in 1779 in Dublin. The same map appeared the following year in “An Impartial History of the War in America”. This map was engraved on the basis of John Mitchell’s map of 1755. Highly detailed, it identifies Indian tribes and forts built by the French. It was aimed to acquaint the general reader with the activity of the North American theater of the Seven Years War.

A New Map of America. Copper plate engraving, undated, c.1760. Good condition save for splitting along fold lines. Professionally conserved. Black & white.

A New Map of America. Copper plate engraving, undated, c.1760. Good condition save for splitting along fold lines. Professionally conserved. Black & white.

 

Holiday 2013 Showcase- Read it Now!

Our new Holiday 2013 Showcase has been sent out to our mailing list, and should hit mailboxes this week. The catalog features a wide range of prints and maps- including new Currier and Ives hand-colored lithographs, important early views from Henry Lewis’ Das Illustrirte Mississippithal, traditional holiday genre scenes, and a sampling of new contemporary prints (and accompanying  biographical information) from our local DC artists Deron DeCesare, Yolanda Frederikse, Jake Muirhead, Philip Bennet, and Susan Goldman.

Published in both traditional and digital media forms, we are now able to share our fantastic collection in a whole new way.  To receive our next Showcase in print, just send us your mailing information, via email.

Click the image below to read the Holiday Showcase:

The Old Print Gallery Showcase. Holiday 2013. CLICK TO READ!

The Old Print Gallery Showcase.
Holiday 2013.
CLICK TO READ!

We hope you enjoy it!

New Additions: Bird’s Eye Views

NEW ADDITIONS banner

 

NEW ADDITIONSToday we are sharing several new bird’s-eye views of foreign cities.  Though generally not drawn to scale, these city views were based on detailed studies, provided from in-person travels or writing from well-known travelers and explorers. They provide great insight into the town during its depicted period- important buildings, like government, military, and religious structures, are almost always labelled. Additionally, side margins or cartouches will sometimes feature people in period clothing, list important city dates or events, or show key travel routes.  We hope you enjoy these intriguing, detailed prints!

Rhotomagus, Galliae Lugdunensis as Sequanam flu. Opp. vulgo Rouen. (France). By Braun and Hogenberg. Copper plate engraving, 1572-1618. A fine view of the town of Rouen, France, on the River Seine from Braun & Hogenberg’s “Civitates Orbis Terrarum." Good condition. Period coloring. $495.00. LINK.

Rhotomagus, Galliae Lugdunensis as Sequanam flu. Opp. vulgo Rouen. (France). By Braun and Hogenberg. Copper plate engraving, 1572-1618. A fine view of the town of Rouen, France, on the River Seine from Braun & Hogenberg’s Civitates Orbis Terrarum. Good condition. Period coloring. $495.00. LINK.

Rimini. (Italy). By Braun and Hogenberg. Copper plate engraving, 1572-1618. A fine view of the city of Rimini from Braun & Hogenberg’s “Civitates Orbis Terrarum.” Rimini is located between the Rivers Marecchia and Ausa on the Adriatic Sea in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. Good condition. Period coloring. $600.00 LINK.

Rimini. (Italy). By Braun and Hogenberg. Copper plate engraving, 1572-1618. A fine view of the city of Rimini from Braun & Hogenberg’s Civitates Orbis Terrarum. Rimini is located between the Rivers Marecchia and Ausa on the Adriatic Sea in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. Good condition. Period coloring. $600.00 LINK.

Ierusalem. By Daniel Stoopendaal. Copper engraving, c. 1716. This bird's eye plan of old Jerusalem is based on Villapando's imaginary city plan; it was designed by Bastiaan Stoopendaal, then revised by Daniel Stoopendaal. It was included in a Dutch Bible. The plan has an extensive key identifying landmarks, which include the palaces of David and Herod, Solomon's Temple and various markets. At the top is an elevation of Solomon's Temple and along the sides are religious icons and figures of a high priest and Solomon. Good condition with modern color, save small break at lower centerfold. $750.00. LINK.

Ierusalem. By Daniel Stoopendaal. Copper engraving, c. 1716. This bird’s-eye plan of old Jerusalem is based on Villapando’s imaginary city plan; it was designed by Bastiaan Stoopendaal, then revised by Daniel Stoopendaal. It was included in a Dutch Bible. The plan has an extensive key identifying landmarks, which include the palaces of David and Herod, Solomon’s Temple and various markets. At the top is an elevation of Solomon’s Temple and along the sides are religious icons and figures of a high priest and Solomon. Good condition with modern color, save small break at lower centerfold. $750.00. LINK.

Lisabona magnificentissima Regia Sedes Portugalliae et florentissimum Emporium ad ostia Tagi situm. By George Matthaus Seutter. Published by George Mattheus Seutter, Augsburg. Copper engraving, hand colored, c. 1756. This impressive split view shows a bird's eye view of Lisbon, capital city of Portugal, from above the Tagus River. Churches, palaces, monasteries and other public sites are identified on the view. In the center a large description in German is flanked by galleons. Along the bottom is an astonishing panoramic view of the great earthquake and accompanying tsunami which largely destroyed the city in 1755. Buildiings are disintegrating amidst widespread fires, while at sea ships are swamped by the tsunami. Good condition with light hand color save repaired centerfold and trimmed outer margin with restored neat line. $1,200.00. LINK.

Lisabona magnificentissima Regia Sedes Portugalliae et florentissimum Emporium ad ostia Tagi situm. By George Matthaus Seutter. Published by George Mattheus Seutter, Augsburg. Copper engraving, hand colored, c. 1756. This impressive split view shows a bird’s-eye view of Lisbon, capital city of Portugal, from above the Tagus River. Churches, palaces, monasteries and other public sites are identified on the view. In the center a large description in German is flanked by galleons. Along the bottom is an astonishing panoramic view of the great earthquake and accompanying tsunami which largely destroyed the city in 1755. Buildings are disintegrating amidst widespread fires, while at sea ships are swamped by the tsunami. Good condition with light hand color save repaired centerfold and trimmed outer margin with restored neat line. $1,200.00. LINK.

 

October 2013 Showcase- Read it Now!

Our new October 2013 Showcase has been sent out to our mailing list, and should hit mailboxes this week. The catalog features a wide range of prints and maps- striking portraits of American revolutionary heroes, important early maps and views of the Americas and Holy Land, traditional fall hunting scenes, and a sampling of contemporary and early 20th century prints from our two most recent shows, PER-FORM and Alessandro Mastro-Valerio: A Retrospective.

Published in both traditional and digital media forms, we are now able to share our fantastic collection in a whole new way.  We are already working on our next issue, just in time for the holidays. To receive our next Showcase, just send us your mailing information, via email.

Read the October Showcase:

The Old Print Gallery Showcase. October 2013. CLICK TO READ!

The Old Print Gallery Showcase.
October 2013.
CLICK TO READ!

We hope you enjoy it!

Past/Present: Maps of Mexico

Today, our Past/Present post features two maps of Mexico. The older map is by Antonio Zatta, the most prominent Italian 18th and early 19th century publisher of maps. Based out of Venice, Zatta created maps that harmoniously merged the two very different cartographic styles of the time. He updated and redefined the traditional title cartouche by replacing the mythic elements common to the 17th and 18th century with more representative images. A beautiful balance of art and information, Zatta’s maps contained many decorative elements, such as figurative depictions, on the map itself, while striving for the accuracy that his more scientifically-focused 19th century clientele demanded. In addition to depicting Mexico, Zatta’s map includes Baja California, Texas and the American Southeast, much of which was still controlled by Spain.

The 19th century map is by J.H. Colton, a New York based publisher who started selling maps in 1833. In the beginning, Colton built his business by purchasing plates and copyrights from cartographers like Burr and updating the details and borders. He also worked hard to produce railroad maps and guidebooks, which were immensely popular. Colton’s sons joined his business in the early 1850s. His older son, G. W. Colton, trained as a cartographer and engraver, and was particularly enthused about creating a detailed world atlas to compete with well-established European firms on the U.S. market. In 1855 G.W. Colton issued the impressive two-volume Colton’s Atlas of the World. His slightly smaller one-volume Colton’s General Atlas, was published in 1857. This map of Mexico is from Colton’s General Atlas and features an inset of the Territory and Isthmus of Tehuantepec. It also has Colton’s trademark spiral motif border.

Image on Left: Messico Ouvero Nuova Spagna che contiene Il Nuovo Messico La California Con Una Parte de’ Paesi Adjacenti. Published by Antonio Zatta, Venice. Copper plate engraving, 1785. Issued in Zatta’s Atlante Novissimo. Engraved by G. Pitteri.

Image on Right: Mexico. Published by J. H. Colton & Company, New York. Hand colored engraving, 1857. From Colton’s General Atlas.

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Happy Birthday Pierre Charles L’Enfant

Happy Birthday L’Enfant!

Born on August 2, 1754, Pierre Charles L’Enfant, was a french-born architect and civil engineer who designed the layout for our great Capital city. Where would DC be with out it’s many circles and roundabouts, our grand Pennsylvania avenue, and the national mall? We have L’Enfant to thank for our town’s layout and design…and the many maps that are based off of his plan.

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On January 24, 1791, President George Washington announced the Congressionally-designated permanent location of the national capital, a diamond-shaped ten-mile tract at the confluence of the Potomac and Eastern Branch Rivers. The original survey of the 100 square mile diamond shaped “district” was undertaken by Andrew Ellicott and Benjamin Banneker (a free slave). In March of 1791, Major Pierre Charles L’Enfant was appointed by George Washington to prepare the plan for the city itself with Ellicott as his assistant.

His plan specified locations for the “Congress house” , which would be built on Jenkins Hill (now called Capitol Hill), and the “President’s house”, which would be situated on a ridge parallel to the Potomac River. The “President’s house” was originally planned to be several times larger than the actual size of the current White House. He also designed for an special avenue (Pennsylvania Avenue) to connect the Congress house with the President’s house.

The streets in L’Enfant’s plan are laid out on a simple grid, consisting of east-west streets and north-south streets. Avenues running on a diagonal would cross the grid, and intersect with east-west and north-south streets at large circles and rectangular plazas. These open spaces were to be filled with statues commemorating famous and notable Americans, and offer a outdoor place for the public to stroll, meet, and enjoy.

Unfortunately, L’Enfant turned out to be very difficult to work with. Eventually both Washington and Jefferson became disgusted with his obstinacy. He was suspended in 1792 and outright terminated from his post in 1793. Andrew Ellicott took over the project using L’Enfant’s plan as a base.

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