Auction 128, Lot 142

"Map Illustrating the Extermination of the American Bison Prepared by W.T. Hornaday", Smithsonian Institute

Subject: North America

Period: 1889 (published)

Publication: The Extermination of the American Bison...Its Discovery and Life History

Color: Printed Color

17.4 x 22 inches
44.2 x 55.9 cm

This poignant map was prepared by W.T. Hornaday for a report to the U.S. National Museum, Smithsonian Institution. It traces in red the boundary of the area once inhabited by buffalo. The area outlined in blue and green reflects the tragic and systematic destruction of these herds. The numbers in green represent the location and number of the wild buffalo in existence by January 1, 1889. Barely 800 bison were known to exist when this map was published. Complete with its historically important 175-page report, "The Extermination of the American Bison, with a Sketch of its Discovery and Life History" from the Annual Report of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution for the Year Ending 1887, Part II, 1889. The text includes 21 plates and provides a historical context for the map and raises the real possibility of extinction of the buffalo without prompt government action. Scarce to find the map and report together.


Condition: B

The map has a fine impression and color with full margins, but some splits on fold intersections closed on verso, a long fold split and short binding side trim tear, also closed on verso. Loose from report. The disbound report is fine with even age toning, plates are clean and bright, but the last page has a small area of clipping at edge.

Estimate: $160 - $250

Sold for: $190

Closed on 5/20/2009