Catalog Archive
Auction 138, Lot 358

"Carte de la Route qui Mene depuis la Capitale de la Nouvelle Espagne jusqu'a S. Fe du Nouveau Mexique …", Humboldt, Friedrich Heinrich Alexander von

Subject: United States & Mexico

Period: 1812 (published)

Publication: Atlas Geographique et Physique du Royaume de la Nouvelle-Espagne

Color: Black & White

16.5 x 21 inches
41.9 x 53.3 cm

This unique sheet contains three strip-style maps that depict the route from Santa Fe to Mexico City, known as El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro. Because Spain maintained a strong monopoly with its northern provinces by barring trade with the United States or the French colonies in Louisiana, the Camino Real was the only trade route in the region until American merchants and fur traders opened up the Santa Fe Trail in the 1820s. Towns, mines, military stations, and farms are marked along the route. In addition, Humboldt's "astronomical observations" of longitude and latitude are indicated on each map. Humboldt credits the journals of Don Pedro de Rivera as well as his own astronomical observations as the sources for the map. The maps were drawn by R. Friesen and engraved by Barriere, and the title below the maps was engraved by L. Aubert. Dated 1807 but published in 1812.

Friedrich Wilhelm Heinrich Alexander von Humboldt is one of the most important figures in the scientific discovery of the Americas. His maps of Mexico and the American Southwest are among the most important maps of the period. Humboldt traveled through the region under the patronage of the Spanish Crown and was granted access to the archives of the Spanish-American colonies.

References: Wheat (TMW), p. 137, #274 & 304.

Condition: A

Wide margins on heavy paper with light offsetting and a few faint spots in blank margins.

Estimate: $550 - $650

Sold for: $400

Closed on 12/7/2011