17th Century Prints, 18th Century Prints, 19th Century Maps, 19th Century Prints, American Maps, American Views, Americana, Gallery Updates, Maps, Portraits, Prints

Historic America video tour of The Old Print Gallery

Last week we filmed with Aaron Killian, writer, historian, and president and founder of Historic America. Aaron is dedicated to bringing the history of our country to life through interactive publishing, tours, and the creation of digital historic research material. We were thrilled to be asked to do a video with him about our collection of historic prints- and to share our unique inventory with a whole new group of followers and history enthusiasts.

In the video, we share seven prints from our inventory, touch upon the role of prints throughout history, and talk a bit about our long 40+ year history as a gallery. It was fun morning of filming- Aaron was an engaging host, and kept the whole process super easy for this video newbie, asking stimulating and smart questions and sharing interesting facts along the way.

For more information on the prints show in the video, follow the links below:
Montanus 17th century view of St. Augustine
Edward Savage portrait of the Washington Family
Original Washington Monument Plan
Inauguration of Abraham Lincoln
Currier and Ives’ lithograph of The Battle of Bull Run
Colton’s Washington DC map
DC Circus Poster

We hope you enjoy the video! Thanks again to Aaron Killian of Historic America– we encourage all of our blog readers to book a tour with Aaron you will see DC in a whole new light and learn a lot! Also, make sure to check out the Historic America blog– you can spend hours watching his videos and reading about our nation’s past (and present)- a fantastic site for history-buffs.

18th Century Maps, 19th Century Maps, American Maps, Copperplate, Engraving, Maps, Past/Present

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.