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2007 Catalog > 39. Egloffstein, Three Maps.

A Rare Set of Egloffstein Maps from the Ives Report


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39. F. W. Egloffstein / Joseph C. Ives. “Explorations and Surveys. War Department. Map No. 1. Rio Colorado of the West” (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1861). From Report upon the Colorado River of the West, explored in 1857 and 1858 by Lieutenant Joseph C. Ives, Corps of Topographical Engineers (H.R. Doc. No. 90, 36th Cong., 1st sess.). Aquatint engraving, black and white with tint. Four strip maps, each 14 x 8". Overall size at neat line: 14 1/2 x 34 3/4". Sheet size: 16 1/4 x 36 3/4" including binding tab. Old folds visible; minor age spotting; toning in upper margin. Otherwise, very good condition.


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F. W. Egloffstein / Joseph C. Ives. “Explorations and Surveys. War Department. Map No. 2. Rio Colorado of the West” (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1861). From Report upon the Colorado River of the West, as above. Aquatint engraving, black and white with tint. 14 1/4 x 34 5/8" at neat line. Sheet size: 16 1/8 x 36 1/8". Old folds visible; minor age spotting; left margin unevenly trimmed at binding tab; some chipping at upper edge of sheet; loss at u. r. corner. Otherwise, very good condition.


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F. W. Egloffstein / Joseph C. Ives, with color additions by John S. Newberry, geologist to the expedition. “Geological Map No. 2. Explorations and Surveys. War Department. Rio Colorado of the West” (Washington, D.C: Government Printing Office, 1861). From unnumbered Senate edition of Report upon the Colorado River of the West (Senate Ex. Doc., 36th Cong., 1st sess.). Aquatint engraving with fine bright original hand color. 14 1/2 x 34 3/4" at neat line. Sheet size: 18 x 36". Margins unevenly trimmed; a few minor spots. Otherwise, excellent condition.

Price, all three items: SOLD.

This trio of maps represents one of the most important exploring efforts of the American Southwest. The three maps were folded into Report upon the Colorado River, which recorded the activities and scientific findings of the U.S. Army expedition of 1857–58 under the command of Joseph C. Ives. The report was issued simultaneously in two editions, House Document No. 90 and an unnumbered Senate edition that contained an extra map, the third map offered above. Goetzmann considers the Ives book to be the best of the individual Army reports, “a long, carefully written journal, consciously literary but with a maximum amount of attention to scientific observation.”

Egloffstein’s maps accompanying the report are equally notable for their innovative depictions of the topography and the geology of the Colorado River, the result of Egloffstein’s development of a new method for representing topography. He developed a technology that imparts the appearance of depth to the topography and nearly mimics a satellite image.

The first two maps above, Nos. 1 and 2, appeared in the numbered House edition of the report. The former map shows the course of the Colorado River in four panels from its mouth at the Gulf of California to the head of navigation in Black Canyon at Fortification Rock. Wheat rates this map as one of Egloffstein’s best efforts, a fine example of his technique for describing topographic detail. Map No. 2 depicts the course of the Colorado River across the horizontally configured Territory of New Mexico. The “Big Cañon of the Colorado,” i.e., the Grand Canyon, features prominently as an early attempt at surveying the terrain.

The third map is from the unnumbered Senate edition. It is identical to the above Map No. 2, but with the supplemental heading “Geological Map” and geological data added in color washes. A color-coded key in the bottom margin identifies the geological strata recorded on the expedition by John Newberry, the first geologist to observe the Grand Canyon. This is a superb map, printed on heavy paper.

The three maps, uncommon as a set, together comprise a rare collection of documents important not only for their explorative content but also for their cartographic technique. A fine edition to any collection focusing on the exploration of the American West...

Refs.: Goetzmann, Army Explorations in the American West, pp. 380–393; Sabin, 35308; Wagner-Camp, 375; Wheat, Mapping the Transmississippi West, pp. 95–101, 947 (illus.); 948 (illus.).

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