Auction 133, Lot 714

"Atlas Universel Complet de Geographie Ancienne et Moderne…", Langlois, H.

Subject: Atlases

Period: 1830 (dated)


Color: Hand Color

18.5 x 12.5 inches
47 x 31.8 cm

The United States and Great Britain established in 1818 joint claim over the Oregon Territory - the region north of Spanish controlled Upper California up to the southern boundary of Russia's Alaska Territory at North latitude 54°40'. By the late 1830's this arrangement was beginning to fall apart. In the 1840's the expansionist Democrats, including their 1844 presidential candidate, James Polk, claimed the entire region for the United States. Their expansionist desires were expressed by Polk's famous campaign slogan, "Fifty-four Forty or Fight!" The slogan also became a rally cry for Americans desiring to settle the territory. Following Polk's election, the dispute was resolved by the 1846 Treaty of Oregon, which struck a compromise that fixed the U.S./Canadian boundary at 49º North.

The title page of this atlas credits its maps to "D'Anville, Arrowsmith, Guthrie, Malte Burn, LeSage, Lapie, [and] Brue." This complete atlas contains 47 maps - 36 modern and 11 ancient maps. The maps are undated and carry no attribution for cartographer or engraver except as noted on the title page. The modern maps include a large double page folding world map, an fine solar system, the continents and the countries or regions of the world. The ancient maps include Palestine, Greece, Egypt & Syria, the empire of Constantinople and of Charlemagne, plus others. The map of the United States extends to the Pacific Ocean and shows early territorial borders. Arkansas is in its largest configuration, extending to Mexico, the western half of the US is composed of a huge Missouri Territory that is separate from the State of Missouri. The entire Northwest is the Territory of Columbia, which extends well into Canada, here Nouvelle Bretagne. This is the famous Fifty-four Forty or Fight dispute of which France sided with America. Hard bound with marbled paper and tan leather raised spine with gilt title. Very fancy title page with fancy lettering and many flourishes.


Condition: B+

The maps are generally very good. Map of Britain has a small printer's ink smudge at upper right in blank ocean. Covers with some wear, chip out of right tip.

Estimate: $400 - $600

Sold for: $550

Closed on 9/1/2010