Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - April - 2012 Issue

Early North American Maps from Donald Heald Rare Books

Healdmapsprivate

North American maps from Donald Heald.

Donald Heald Rare Books has issued a catalogue of Maps from Private Collections. These are North American maps, ranging from the 17th to the 19th century. Leafing through the catalogue, you can see how knowledge of the continent grew from not much beyond the east coast, to gradually inland, on to the west coast, and lastly, starting to fill in the Northwest. Along the way, the original American colonies start to take shape, the Great Lakes appear, the Mississippi River gains its full length and realizes it is supposed to end in Louisiana, not Texas, the Rio Grande stops draining into the Pacific and into the Gulf of Mexico, where it belongs, and the island that is California attaches itself to the mainland. There were a lot of misconceptions at one time, but that was understandable as almost no one had ever been there. Here are a few of the early maps offered by Donald Heald Rare Books.

Item 8 is an early French map of Canada (and a bit more), or what the French then called “New France”: Description de la Nouvelle France... This is the first state of the 1643 map produced by Jean Boisseau. It was based on the explorations and map of Samuel de Champlain. Names along the New England part of the map are those of Champlain, with little recognition of the English colonists. The most notable feature is that this was the first map to show and name all five of the Great Lakes. Some of the names have since gone by the wayside. Lake Ontario is no longer known as “Lac St. Louis,” Huron as “Mer Douce ou Lac,” Michigan as “Lac des Pauns,” but they are all there. Their locations, and sizes also leave a lot to be desired, but other than a few visits primarily by missionaries, no one from the outside world had any real knowledge of them. Nonetheless, the map represents an important first step to understanding Canada and the upper Midwest. Priced at $22,000.

It would only be a few years before another Frenchman, Nicolas Sanson, would publish his important map of the North American continent, Amerique Septentrionale. It was dated 1650, though this is the 1659 third state. The Great Lakes are now in a more recognizable form, and Ontario has its name. Montreal now makes an appearance, and to the north of Canada there runs a strait, all the way to a mysterious “glacial sea,” in the great unknown that was then the Northwest. It evidently was designed to reaffirm the cherished belief that there was Northwest Passage. Santa Fe is misplaced on the Rio Grande, which flows into a straight off the Pacific Ocean, between the mainland and the island of California. To the north of the island lies the land of “Conibas,” the name given to an area that was still totally unknown during the mid-17th century. Item 58. $7,500.

Here is one more tribute to French mapmakers, and it comes at a time of open hostilities between the British and their American colonists. The French must have enjoyed watching this unfold. It is Carte du Theatre de la Guerre entre les Anglais et les Americains (map of the theater of war between the English and the Americans). It was produced by Louis Brion de la Tour in 1777. Two areas on the map show battles. Near Philadelphia, British positions are shown indicating their occupation of that city. To the north, the Battle of Saratoga is shown, with the notation that British General Burgoyne was defeated on October 16, 1777. Item 10. $6,000.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Collection of a Connoisseur:<br>History in Manuscript, Part 2<br>27 April 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Ronald Reagan. Series of 37 letters to Senator George Murphy, and related material, 1968-90. £50,000 to £70,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Chaim Weizmann. Autograph letter signed, to General Sir Gilbert Clayton, 6 September 1918. £20,000 to £30,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Sir Winston Churchill. Autograph letter signed, to Pamela, Lady Lytton, 1942. £20,000 to $30,000.
    <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Collection of a Connoisseur:<br>History in Manuscript, Part 2<br>27 April 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Oscar Wilde. Five autograph letters signed, to Alsager Vian, 1887. £15,000 to £20,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Napoleon I. Letter signed to Admiral Ganteaume, ordering the invasion of England, 22 August 1805. £10,000 to £15,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Horatio, Viscount Nelson, and Emma Hamilton. Two autograph letter signed, to Catherine and George Matcham, 1805. £6,000 to £8,000.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Frances Palmer, <i>Battle of Buena Vista,</i> chromolithograph, New York, 1847. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Antonio Colmenero de Ledesma, the earliest publication concerned solely with chocolate, first edition, Madrid, 1631. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Romans Bernard, <i>An Exact View of the Late Battle at Charlestown, June 17th, 1775,</i> engraving, 1776. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> <i>A Short Narrative of the Horrid Massacre in Boston,</i> English edition, London, 1770. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> William Soule, <i>Lodge of the Plains Indians,</i> albumen print, 1872. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Manuscript document to enforce New York’s “Agreement of Non-Importation” during the heyday of the Sons of Liberty, New York, 1769. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Clarence Mackenzie, <i>Drummer Boy of the 13th Regiment of Brooklyn,</i> salt print with applied color, 1861. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Moses Lopez, <i>A Lunar Calendar,</i> first Jewish calendar published in America, Newport, RI, 1806. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b><br>The Book of Mormon, first edition, Palmyra, 1830. $30,000 to $40,000.
  • <center><b>Gonnelli Auction House<br>Books and Graphics<br>19th, 20th and 21st April 2021</b>
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 19-21<br>Books from XVI to XX Century</b>
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 20<br>Atlases and Maps</b
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 21<br> Veneto and Venice, a Selection of Books from the XVI to XX century</b>
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 20<br></b>Rossini Gioachino, Baguette de chef d'orchestre appartenuta a Gioachino Rossini, dono del Comune di Passy. 1500 €
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 21<br></b>Manetti Saverio, Storia naturale degli uccelli trattata con metodo. Cinque volumi. 1767. 18.000 €
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 21<br></b>Poe Edgar Allan, Double assassinat dans la rue morgue. Illustrations de Cura. 1946.
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 19-21<br>Books from XVI to XX Century</b>

Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions