Auction 117, Lot 141

"Foster's Complete Geological Chart. Exhibiting in their Successive Order of Deposition, the Various Rocks, Which Form the Crust of our Globe, Arranged According to the Best Authorities in Europe & America", Foster, J.T.

Subject: United States

Period: 1849 (dated)


Color: Hand Color

67.5 x 47.5 inches
171.5 x 120.7 cm

A fascinating geological chart showing a cross-section of the earth to depict every formation known including volcanoes. At the sides are panels that name the formation types that align into the cross-section. The panels give over thirty formation groups plus more individual rock types. Along the bottom is an extensive legend that identifies sixty mineral and rock types by icon. Two other panels at the sides show a collection of nearly 100 fossils. The map is decorated with a full border and engraved scenes at each corner: View of Mount Aetna, Fingal's Cave, Restoration of the Saurians, and Restoration of the Pachydermata. The last two show dinosaurs.
In the United States, this chart triggered a major scientific controversy and legal battle in the 19th century that "helped establish the principle that scientific theories and doctrines should be judged by the tribunal of learned scientific opinion and not in a court of law."
The map was the subject of a recent exhibition at the New York State museum. The fascinating story is detailed on the museum's website: we encourage you to click here to view the full story on the map and the controversy it ignited. Lithographed by F. Michelin III, New York. A rarely seen issue.


Condition: B

With both original rollers attached. Generally very nice condition with clear varnish and few flaws. Some water stains at bottom and top center. Short split in linen at top left in border where it attaches to roller. The map was titled on verso with marking pen which has partially bled-through to front.

Estimate: $300 - $500

Sold for: $210

Closed on 12/6/2006