20th Anniversary 2006 Catalog, William R. Talbot Fine Art, Antique Maps & Prints Home


2006 Catalog > Emanuel Bowen and John Gibson, North America

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12. Emanuel Bowen and John Gibson. “An Accurate Map of North America. Describing and distinguishing the British and Spanish Dominions on this Great Continent” (London: Robert Sayer, 2nd July 1775). Fourth issue. Published in The American Atlas. Four sheets joined as two; copperplate engraving with original outline hand color. Approximate sizes for each: 20 x 45 3/4" at neat line; 21 3/4 x 48" sheet size. Inset at u. l.: “A Particular Map of Baffin and Hudson’s Bay” (9 1/2 x 10 3/8"). Inset at l. l.: “The Passage by Land to California Discover’d by Father Eusebius Frances Kino” (7 3/4 x 7 1/2"). Enormous black-and-white title cartouche featuring New World natives and animals including alligators. Large, comparative scale of miles at l. r. Top sheet: browning at top edge of sheet and faint damp staining; a few splits at old folds at sheet edges; old transference. Bottom sheet: browning at sheet edges; faint spotting or ink smudging on lower sheet. Overall fine for this large, impressive map.

Price: SOLD.

The outstanding British map of North America created on the eve of the American Revolution, this is the desirable fourth issue. Bowen and Gibson first created the map in a now seldom seen separate edition in 1755, which they reissued in 1763 with new information based on the Treaty of Paris and which publisher Robert Sayer issued again three years later. In 1775, Sayer and his partner Bennett gathered together a group of maps of the American colonies by various mapmakers and republished them in book form as The American Atlas. The atlas stands as the most comprehensive, detailed, and accurate survey of the American colonies at the beginning of the Revolution, and it became an important source of information for American, English, and French officials during the War of Independence. The map offered here is from the 1775 atlas and stands today as one of the best large-scale representations by Great Britain of its North American colonial empire. The map covers the area from Newfoundland south to the northern tip of South America and west to New Mexico. The political boundaries are fascinating and show Pennsylvania, Virginia, and the Carolinas extending to the Mississippi, while Louisiana occupies an area west of the great river. The details of the map are astounding. They include towns, forts, Indian tribes and villages, roads, trading paths, portages, mines, mountains, lakes, rivers, much important early colonial information, and textual annotations of the articles of the Paris Treaty. The enormous decorative title cartouche features large figures representing natives and animals of the New World as conceived through British eyes. Overall, a remarkable and seminal map of the United States at the beginning of its existence.

Refs.: Phillips, Atlases, 1165; Sellers and Van Ee, Maps and Charts of North America and the West Indies, 23; Stevens and Tree, no. 49d in Tooley, Mapping of America, p. 81; Streeter sale, vol. I, lot 72 (1775 atlas).

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