Auction 122, Lot 878

"Colton's General Atlas, Containing One Hundred and Eighty Steel Plate Maps and Plans…", Colton, G.W. & C.B.

Subject: Atlases

Period: 1872 (published)


Color: Hand Color

15 x 17.5 inches
38.1 x 44.5 cm

Colton's massive General Atlas, is considered by many to be the pinnacle of American cartography in the latter part of the 19th Century. There are 77 single-page and 22 double-page maps in all, including many highly sought-after state and regional maps such as California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico and Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and British Columbia. Other important state maps featured in this atlas are the double-page editions of Kansas and Nebraska, both of which show very little development in the western reaches of each state. The atlas also features several thematic maps including brightly colored examples of National & Commercial Flags of All Nations, Mountains and Rivers and Comparative Size of Lakes and Islands. A pair of fine city plans are the single-page, uncolored versions of Environs of London, and Environs of Paris. These plates were originally published in 1855, and are finely engraved, highly detailed examples that locate all major landmarks, parks, topography, train stations, rail lines and more. The plan of Paris includes a depiction of the original wall that encircled the old city. This is a beautiful example of a rarely offered atlas by one of America's pre-eminent cartographers. Folio. Complete. Hardbound in original green cloth with quarter calf spine and tips and decorative gilt titling on front and spine.


Condition: B+

Maps are age toned and a bit brittle along the edges, which has contributed to some short edge tears and the loosening of the front signature. The List of Maps page is nearly separated from the binding. Contents have occasional handling soil, mostly in margins, and some unobtrusive pencil marks. Covers are worn along edges, and have some loss at the corners and along the hinges. Spine is scuffed and binding is good, save for the front signature, as mentioned.

Estimate: $2,500 - $3,000

Sold for: $2,500

Closed on 12/5/2007