17th Century Maps, American Maps, Copperplate, Engraving, Maps, New Additions

New Additions: John Overton’s “New and Most Exact Map of America”

NEW ADDITIONS bannerNEW ADDITIONSWe received several antique maps at the Old Print Gallery yesterday, all of which make great additions to our inventory. Included in this group of new (to us) maps was a rare, separately published, English-produced map of the Americas by John Overton.

John Overton (1640-1713) worked first as an apprentice to Thomas Gould in the “Stationers’ Company” for eight years, before buying a print shop from Peter Stent in London. His shop, as noted on all his published material, was located at the sign for “White Horse neere the Fountaine Tavern Without Newgate“. Overton inherited and quickly accumulated a considerable print stock, but found his inventory of maps lacking. He worked to fill this void by re-publishing maps of influential cartographers of the previous generation, notably acquiring the set of Speed plates from Christopher Browne in 1713.

A New and Most Exact Map of America. Described by N. I. Visscher and Don [sic] into English Enlarged and Corrected According to I. Bleau [sic] and Others. By John Overton.  Printed Colloured and Sould by John Overton at ye White Horse neere the Fountaine Tavern Without Newgate. Copper plate engraving, 1668 (c.1671). Image size 16 5/8 x 21 1/8" (421 x 535 mm) plus margins. Good condition save for tight lower margin. Modern hand coloring. LINK.

A New and Most Exact Map of America. Described by N. I. Visscher and Don [sic] into English Enlarged and Corrected According to I. Bleau [sic] and Others. By John Overton. Printed Colloured and Sould by John Overton at ye White Horse neere the Fountaine Tavern Without Newgate. Copper plate engraving, 1668 (c.1671). Image size 16 5/8 x 21 1/8″ (421 x 535 mm) plus margins. LINK.

Overton primarily derived this map of America  from his chief English rivals, Robert Walton, Thomas Jenner and as noted in the title, Nicolaes Visscher. He used Walton’s (Burden #330) map for the decorative borders and large inset map of the polar regions, Jenner’s (Burden #393) for the cartography, and van den Keere’s for the border illustrations, which depict natives, explorers, and city views. This is the second state of the map, issued c.1671. It is in good condition, save for tight lower margin. The hand coloring is modern.

The map, a copper plate engraving, has many interesting details. It depicts California as an island, with the following explanation: “This California was in times past thought to beene a part of thy Continent and so made in all maps but by further discoveries was found to be an Iland, long 1700 legues” . Hudson’s Bay is noted as being very shallow: “In this Hudsons Bay hath been observed by divers that at highwater did not arise about 2 foot.” Although New Jersey is listed, New York is curiously omitted from East Coast place names, despite being under British rule.  The map is also beautifully decorated with ships and sea monsters in the water and grazing, leaping animals in the Midwest. An inset map of the polar circle- including the Strait of Anian– sits in the lower left corner of the map.

This is a fantastic new map to be added to our OPG collection. We invite our blog readers to stop by our Georgetown gallery to see it in person.

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16th Century Maps, 17th Century Maps, 18th Century Maps, 19th Century Maps, American Maps, Copperplate, Engraving, Gallery Updates, Maps, Stone, Woodcut

Mapping America

The Old Print Gallery is celebrating maps in 2014, with a mini exhibit of antique American maps displayed on our gallery walls. We selected eight maps from our collection, starting with the influential Munster 1588 map Americae sive Noi Orbis Nova Descriptio, and ending with Mitchell’s 1861 Military Map of the United States. Gallery friends are invited to stop by and see “snapshots” of our great country over time, through wars and conflict as well as periods of prodigious exploration and expansion, as told by maps.

Americae sive Novi Orbis, Nova Descriptio. Sebastain Munster.  Published by Sebastain Petri, Basel. Woodcut, 1588. 1628 edition. Image size 12 1/8 x 14 1/8" (306 x 360 mm) plus margins. Very good condition; black and white. Framed in acid-free zinc mat with gold line, in gold frame and UV glass. Framed map $3,100.

Americae sive Novi Orbis, Nova Descriptio. Sebastain Munster. Published by Sebastain Petri, Basel. Woodcut, 1588. 1628 edition. Image size 12 1/8 x 14 1/8″ (306 x 360 mm) plus margins. Very good condition; black and white. Framed in acid-free zinc mat with gold line, in gold frame and UV glass. Framed map $3,100.00. Click on map for better detail.

This influential woodcut map from Munster’s Cosmographia replaced the earlier and highly speculative Munster map of 1540. Cartographically based on Ortelius’ 1570 map, this map features a typical Ortelian treatment of the western coastline of North America. Place names like Quieriva, Anian, and Tolm are artfully engraved in the Northern continent, along with river ways and mountain ranges, including the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The map shows an oversized southwestern coastline of South America, sometimes referred to as the “Chilean bulge”. A massive southern continent, Meridies Tierra del Fuego, sits at the bottom of the map.

This map was issued unchanged from 1588 through 1628. A secondary title in German appears above the map, “Die newen Inseln so hinder Hispania Gegen Orient bey dem Landt Indie Gelegen”.

America. Jodocus Hondius. Published by J. Hondius, Amsterdam. Copper engraving, c.1606. French issue, 1630. . Image size 14 3/4 x 19 3/4" (373 x 500mm). Good condition save repair near lower centerfold. Black and white. Framed in acid-free tumbleweed mat with cream top mat, in a wooden frame with panel and UV Plexiglas.  Framed $7850.00

America. Jodocus Hondius. Published by J. Hondius, Amsterdam. Copper engraving, c.1606. French issue, 1630. . Image size 14 3/4 x 19 3/4″ (373 x 500mm). Good condition save repair near lower centerfold. Black and white. Framed in acid-free tumbleweed mat with cream top mat, in a wooden frame with panel and UV Plexiglas. Framed map $7,850.00. Click on map for better detail. 

Hondius engraved this map for his first edition of Gerard Mercator’s atlas.  It was issued in his atlases until 1630.  The enlarged North American continent includes many errors, notably the northeast portion in the current U.S., which is badly distorted, and an oddly protruding Virginia coastline. It does have a more accurate depiction of the southwest coast of South America.

Various scenes which were taken from the earlier volumes of de Bry’s Grand Voyages adorn this map.  The inset in the lower left margin is an intriguing Brazilian native scene, illustrating the method used to make a local beverage.

America with those known parts in that unknown worlde both people and manner of buildings Discribed and inlarged by I.S. Ano. 1626. John Speed. Published by Thomas Bassett and Richard Chiswell, London. Copper plate engraving, 1626 (1676.)  Image size 15 1/8 x 20" (385 x 506 mm) plus narrow margins. Good condition save for tear in lower portion of image just left of the centerfold. Early twentieth century hand coloring. Framed map $7,975.00.

America with those known parts in that unknown worlde both people and manner of buildings Discribed and inlarged by I.S. Ano. 1626. John Speed. Published by Thomas Bassett and Richard Chiswell, London. Copper plate engraving, 1626 (1676.)  On the verso is a two-page English text “The Description of America”. Fourth state of four. Image size 15 1/8 x 20″ (385 x 506 mm) plus narrow margins. Good condition save for tear in lower portion of image just left of the centerfold. Early twentieth century hand coloring. Framed map $7,975.00. Click on map for better detail.

This is a quite decorative and highly desirable map of the Americas. It appeared in Speed’s atlas Prospect of the Most Formed Parts of the World, the first English world atlas, although the copperplates were engraved by Abraham Goos in Amsterdam, the center of the European map trade.

This was the first map published in an atlas that depicted California not as a peninsula, but as an island, a cartographic misconception that endured for nearly 100 years. The map has a fairly accurate rending of the East Coast, especially between Chesapeake Bay and Cape Cod.  Many English colonies appear on the map, including Plymouth in the northeast and Iames Citti in Virginia. The northwest coastline is very faint.

Surrounding this map on two sides are images of indigenous peoples found from Greenland to the Straits of Magellan. The figures on the left represent natives from the north, while figures on the right side are southern natives. Eight town views appear on top. Although the map depicts the English presence in North America, surprisingly none of the town views are English colonies. Rather, they show important early views of Havana, St. Domingo, and Rio, among others. An inset map shows Greenland, Baffin’s Bay and Iceland.

Accurata delineatio celeberrimae Regionis Ludovicianae vel Galliee Louisiane ol Canadae et Floridae adpellatione in Septemtrionali America . . . Mississippi vel St. Louis. Matthew Seutter. Published by Matthew Seutter, Augsburg. Copper plate engraving with original hand color, c.1730. Image size 19 3/8 x 22 1/2" (494 x 571 mm). Good condition, save several faint foxing marks in right margin and brown stain in lower right of image. Framed in an acid-free dark grey bottom mat, antique tan top mat, rounded gold frame with red rub, and UV Plexiglas. Framed map $3,355.00

Accurata delineatio celeberrimae Regionis Ludovicianae vel Galliee Louisiane ol Canadae et Floridae adpellatione in Septemtrionali America . . . Mississippi vel St. Louis. Matthew Seutter. Published by Matthew Seutter, Augsburg. Copper plate engraving with original hand color, c.1730. Image size 19 3/8 x 22 1/2″ (494 x 571 mm). Good condition, save several faint foxing marks in right margin and brown stain in lower right of image. Framed in an acid-free dark grey bottom mat, antique tan top mat, rounded gold frame with red rub, and UV Plexiglas. Framed map $3,355.00. Click on map for better detail.

This map shows North America as known in the early 18th century, with the English colonies along the Atlantic seaboard, a large Louisiana to the south, and Canada with New France taking up the northern tier. At upper left is a large inset of the Gulf coast from the Mississippi delta to Cap St. Blaise. The map prominently features the Mississippi River and Great Lakes.

This map has an elaborately engraved title cartouche, which depicts an allegorical scene of the Mississippi Bubble, a rather poor investment scheme by John Law to develop French Louisiana. The cherubs floating above the cartouche are shown issuing stock for Law’s trading company, while a female personification of the Mississippi River pours out riches and gold to frenzied buyers on her left. To her right, forlorn investors mourn their losses and stab themselves, while cherubs below blow bubbles, surrounded by worthless stocks.

A New Map of North America. Copper plate engraving, undated, c.1760. Image size 16 7/8 x 21 1/2" (429 x 546 mm) plus margins. Good condition, save for splitting along fold lines. Professionally conserved. Black & white. Framed with acid-free zinc mat, gold spandrel, zinc top mat, light gold beaded frame with gold panel, and UV Plexiglas. Framed map $2,230.

A New Map of North America. Copper plate engraving, undated, c.1760. Image size 16 7/8 x 21 1/2″ (429 x 546 mm) plus margins. Good condition, save for splitting along fold lines. Professionally conserved. Black & white. Framed with acid-free zinc mat, gold spandrel, zinc top mat, light gold beaded frame with gold panel, and UV Plexiglas. Framed map $2,230.00. Click on map for better detail.

This is an unusual folio-sized map of the English colonies, shown approximately at the close of the French and Indian War. No cartographer or publisher’s name is given. This scarce and highly detailed map later appeared as a folded insert in History of the War in America printed in 1779 Dublin, and the next year in An Impartial History of the War in America. It was engraved based on John Mitchell’s map of 1755.

The map, meant to acquaint the general reader with the North American theater of the Seven Years War, identifies Indian tribes and forts built by the French.

A Correct Map of the United States of North America Including the British and Spanish Territories carefully laid down agreeable to the Treaty of 1784. Thomas Bowen. Published London. Copper plate engraving, 1787-90. Image size 12 3/8 x 17 5/8" (314 x 447 mm). Good condition, save small marginal repairs.  Framed with acid-free black mat, antique top mat, brushed gold frame, and UV Plexiglas. Framed $2,220.00

A Correct Map of the United States of North America Including the British and Spanish Territories carefully laid down agreeable to the Treaty of 1784. Thomas Bowen. Published London. Copper plate engraving, 1787-90. Image size 12 3/8 x 17 5/8″ (314 x 447 mm). Good condition, save small marginal repairs. Framed with acid-free black mat, antique top mat, brushed gold frame, and UV Plexiglas. Framed $2,220.00. Click on map for better detail.

An early map of the United States, printed soon after the conclusion of the American Revolution. It was published in A New Royal Authentic and Complete System of Universal Geography by Rev. Thomas Bankes. The map shows the first 13 states; it was published prior to admission of Vermont, Kentucky or Tennessee. The map includes a great deal of information on the Great Lakes and Mississippi valley areas. It is also filled with extensive notations on everything from locations and characteristics of Native American tribes (ex: “Tintons- a Wandering Nation”) to land conditions (ex: “Extensive Meadows Full of Buffalos” and “Country Full of Mines”). East and West Florida are shown, as are a large Louisiana and New Mexico.

Charte uber die vereinigten Staaten von Nord-America. Christoph Fembo. Copper plate engraving, 1818.  Image size 17 5/8 x 22 3/4" (447 x 575 mm) plus margins. Good condition. Original outline hand coloring. Framed with acid-free bluff mat, fieldstone blue top mat, beaded light gold frame with panel, and UV Plexiglas. Framed $2,260.00.

Charte uber die vereinigten Staaten von Nord-America. Christoph Fembo. Copper plate engraving, 1818. Image size 17 5/8 x 22 3/4″ (447 x 575 mm) plus margins. Good condition. Original outline hand coloring. Framed with acid-free bluff mat, fieldstone blue top mat, beaded light gold frame with panel, and UV Plexiglas. Framed $2,260.00. Click on map for better detail.

This unusual map was first issued by Gussefeld / Homann Heirs of Nuremburg in 1784, showing the newly formed United States under the title “Charte über die XIII verinigte Staaten von Nord-America.” The plate was subsequently updated and reissued in 1818 to reflect additional states. Many of the new states are strangely shaped. Virginia is engraved with an almost straight north to south western border, and Kentucky and Ohio are wedge shaped. Indiana and Illinois are placed approximately 100 miles to the west of where they should be. Illinois does not touch Lake Michigan. Mississippi is shown as a territory, despite gaining statehood in December of 1817.  A very scarce map.

Mitchell's Military Map of the United States, showing forts, &c. With separate maps of states, vicinities of cities &c.  S. Augustus Mitchell. Published by S.A. Mitchell Jr., Philadelphia. Stone engraving, 1861. Image size 22 3/4 x 25 1/4" (64.1 x 57.8 cm) plus margins. Good condition, save for several short tears along sheet edges and fold lines. Small stain in upper title. Backed on rice paper.  Framed with acid-free black bottom mat, antique tan top mat, gold frame with aged patina, and UV Plexiglas. Framed $2,950.00

Mitchell’s Military Map of the United States, showing forts, &c. With separate maps of states, vicinities of cities &c. S. Augustus Mitchell. Published by S.A. Mitchell Jr., Philadelphia. Stone engraving, 1861. Image size 22 3/4 x 25 1/4″ (64.1 x 57.8 cm) plus margins. Good condition, save for several short tears along sheet edges and fold lines. Small stain in upper title. Backed on rice paper. Framed with acid-free black bottom mat, antique tan top mat, gold frame with aged patina, and UV Plexiglas. Framed $2,950.00. Click on map for better detail. 

A scarce separately issued broadside map produced at the beginning of the American Civil War. This map shows the new territories that were made after southern states seceded. As the trans-Mississippi region developed during the 1850s, there was a call to break up the very large territories into smaller ones. However, every newly created territory had an impact on the power struggle in Congress over the issue of slavery, so between 1854, with its Kansas-Nebraska Act, and 1860, no new territories were created.  After secession, the northerners in Congress were able to act quickly and create three new territories:  a large Dakota Territory, Territory of Nevada, and Colorado Territory- all present on this map.

Another feature of this map is the depiction of a never-existing horizontal border between the free territory of New Mexico and slave territory of Arizona. On August 1 1861, the Confederacy established Arizona Territory, consisting of the southern half of the Union’s New Mexico Territory; the Union still claimed the whole territory. The region was sometimes called Arizona before 1863, despite the fact it was still part of the Territory of New Mexico until 1912.

Two large inset maps show County map of Virginia, and North Carolina and County map of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, and Delaware. Smaller inset maps show Hampton Roads, Washington, D.C., Pensacola Bay, Charleston Harbor, New Orleans, Louisiana, Baltimore and Richmond.

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16th Century Maps, 17th Century Maps, 18th Century Maps, 19th Century Maps, Copperplate, Engraving, Foreign Maps, Maps

Foreign City Plans

Today we are sharing some of our town and city plan maps. These more localized maps are fantastic because they allow viewers to see the development and organization of a city. Information on local customs, the local economy, and even  appearance of buildings can be gained by looking at these large-scale plans.

The majority of city plans are scaled representations of the area, as viewed from directly above. An extension of early surveying techniques for estate plans and engineering plans, city plans offer a more precise awareness of an area, providing to be very beneficial.  Alternatively, some city plans feature an oblique, or bird’s eye, view.  This combination of panoramas and traditional city plans allow both cartographic and pictorial detail to be shown, and are very collectible.

Many city plans were specifically designed as such, however there are some plans, like the famous city plans of English, Welsh, and Irish countries by John Speed, which were incorporated as insets on more general maps. Despite their secondary importance in the atlas, some of these plans were the first cartographic depictions of the cities, and are thus historically important.

Below are a sampling of foreign city plans currently in our inventory. Enjoy!

Pianta Della Citta di Roma, con la Indicazione di tutte le Antichita e Nuovi Abbellimenti. An engraving by Pietro Ruga, published by Venanzio Monaldini in 1823. A beautifully engraved large-scale map of Rome. Along the sides are 16 vignette views of important locations and buildings within the city. Some are of Roman ruins, including the Pantheon of Agrippa, Trajan's Column, Pyramid of Cestio and the Coliseum. In the lower right is a key to the 14 neighborhoods of the city.

Broad Street Ward Divided into Parishes according to a New Survey. A copper engraving by B.Cole. Published by T.Osborne and J Shipton, in London, 1756. The London ward map is decorated with building vignettes and decorative cartouches. From William Maitland's "The History of London from Its Foundation to the Present Time."

Le Plan de Paris. A copper engraving by Matthew Seutter, published by Tobias Conrad Lotter, c.1760. A superb and detailed plan of Paris, with streets, gardens, neighborhoods and landmarks depicted and named. The Palais de Tuileries, Louvre and Notre Dame Cathedral all appear. The Left Bank is in the foreground, below the Seine River. At lower left is a key to major churches, palaces and other sites.

Oxfordshire described with ye Citie and the Armes of the Colledges of ye famous University Ao. 1605. A copper-plate engraving by John Speed, engraved by Jodocus Hondius, and published by John Sudbury and George Humbell in London, 1611. One of the most desirable of all Speed county maps, this map is enhanced with a town plan of Oxford drawn from the 1578 plan by Ralph Agas, coats-of-arms for the various university colleges down the sides, the British coat-of-arms, and two robed dons flanking a globe at bottom.

Ierusalem, cum Suburbiis, Prout Tempore Christi Florint. Copper engraving by Matthew Seutter. Published by Tobias Conrad Lotter in 1756. This is an imaginary aerial (bird's eye) plan of ancient Jerusalem at the time of Jesus Christ. It is based upon the 1584 plan by Christian van Adrichom. Below is an extensive 254-item identification key and explanatory text in German.

Plan de Jedo. Copper engraving by Jacques Nicolas Bellin, 1765. This is a detailed city plan of Tokyo, Japan. Bellin was the famed French hydrographer commissioned by the King of France to chart the known coasts and ports of the world for the French Navy.

Hagae Comitis Celeberrimi Totius EUROPAE Municipy Typus. A copperplate engraving by Braun and Hogenburg, c.1580. A beautiful view of The Hague, the international capital of the Netherlands. With an 18-item key to major sites at right. This view appeared in Braun & Hogenberg's "Civitatus Orbis Theatrum," considered the most famous atlas of city views published in the 16th century.

Berlin. A plan of Berlin, Germany, drawn and engraved by J. Dower. Published by William Orr, London, 1836. Details include a 31-item reference key and a view from the suburbs.

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