We recently added several lithographs from Henry Lewis’ DAS ILLUSTRIERTE MISSISSIPPITHAL (The Valley of the Mississippi Illustrated) to our collection. In the late 1840’s, Lewis traveled the length of the Mississippi and, with the assistance of other artists, assembled a collection of sketches detailing scenery of the entire river. Based on these drawings, he proceeded to paint a panorama on a continuous length of canvas, which would be moved and viewed through a frame. The completed piece (hundreds and hundreds of feet in length) began its tour of American cities in the fall of 1848. Due to its popularity, a European tour quickly followed. While on tour in Dusseldorf in 1853, Lewis met and teamed up with the publisher Heinrich Arnz to redo the sketches as lithographs illustrating a book on Mississippi scenery. While production was sporadic and relatively unprofitable, the resulting seventy-eight lithographs provide an early and remarkably complete visual record of the Mississippi River.
Americae tam Septentrionalis quam Meridionalis in Mappa Geographica Delineatio … Opera A.F. Zurneri … Ex Officina Petri Schenkii in Platea vulgo de Warmoes Straat sub Signo N Visschers Athlas
By Adam Friedrich Zurner
Published by Pieter Schenk, Amsterdam
Copper plate engraving, c.1710.
Image size 19 3/4 x 22 3/4″ (500 x 579 mm) plus margins.
Good condition save for a small professionally repaired tear in central portion of map. Original hand coloring.
This map, by Adam Friedrich Zurner (1679-1742), is a compilation of the most up-to-date information about America at the time of printing, combined with older cartographic myths. The main body of North America reflects newly corrected information, including De L’Isle’s treatment of the Mississippi River Valley and the Rio Grande River properly flowing into the Gulf of Mexico.
In depicting California as an island, Zurner uses the second Sanson model, but makes the Northeastern part of the Island very tentative in nature, clearly aware that other map makers have abandoned the myth of the island of California.
The map also shows a massive Terra Esonis Incognita, a vestige of the prior century, when popular (mythical) cartography showed a near continuous land bridge from the Straits of Anian to Asia.
The map is embellished with two allegorical cartouches. The title cartouche is shown as being drawn on an animal skin pelt, held aloft by two Native Americans. A complex vignette in the lower right depicts European traders seated around a table, on the table cloth is written “Nun Konen Wirs alle.” Behind and to the right are natives worshiping at a temple and in the far background a battle between Natives armed with bow and arrows positioned against Europeans with rifles. On a pedestal stands a Native woman with full feather headdress holding quill of arrows. Written on the pedestal in Latin are stories of the explorations of Columbus and Catholic missionaries.