Catalog Archive
Auction 138, Lot 904

"Johnson's New Illustrated (Steel Plated) Family Atlas, with Physical Geography, and With Descriptions Geographical, Statistical, and Historical, including The Latest Federal Census…", Johnson and Ward

Subject: Atlases

Period: 1863 (published)


Color: Hand Color

14.5 x 18 inches
36.8 x 45.7 cm

This atlas contains 65 of the original 66 beautifully rendered, steel engraved maps, including 33 (of 34) double-page maps. There are several thematic maps and diagrams interspersed throughout the text that display the geology, weather, tides, agriculture, flags and animal kingdoms of the world. This 1863 edition is the last year with steel engraved plates, with many of the maps featuring vignettes, and some retaining the early strap-work style borders. It also has the desirable edition of the New Military Map of the United States which shows all state and territory boundaries rather than the limits of military divisions. And it features the un-numbered double-page Civil War map Vicinity of Richmond.

The Southwest map is the late 1863 - early 1864 edition in this series of maps. Arizona still claims the Southern tip of Nevada and has the county configurations of the old New Mexico Territory, with the addition of Castle Dome and Ewell counties in the south. The Utah/Nevada border is now at 115°. This is a completely new plate with extensive revisions in the watershed and mountain detail and several of the earlier notations removed. But it retains the note in the area of Quartzite, Arizona calling the area "exceedingly fertile and abundantly timbered and well watered." The map details the U.S. Mail routes, the Emigrant roads to California, the proposed railroad route through Utah, Nevada and California, and the Pony Express trail. The double-page map of Texas shows county development mostly in eastern Texas and only the three large counties of El Paso, Presidio and Bexar in the west. The panhandle, noted as the Staked Plains (Elevated Table Land, without Wood or Water), includes a large section that is unorganized. There is nice depiction of the wagon roads, many named, with several completed railroads. The inset maps include a 'Plan of Sabine Lake,' 'Plan of the Northern part of Texas,' and 'Plan of Galveston Bay.' The map of the Northwest shows the newly created territory of Idaho. The map of Minnesota shows the newly created region of Dakota with an undefined western boundary.

The atlas is almost complete, with only the map of Ancient Greece and Rome missing. Folio. Hardbound in original full red leather, embossed covers with gilt titling on cover and spine, gilt fore-edge, and marbled end papers.


Condition: B+

Maps are in full original color, and in general maps and text are in near fine to good condition, with some light toning, occasional spots, and marginal soiling. The <I>New Military Map of the US</I> has a long centerfold separation that has been repaired with cello tape. The map of Ohio/Indiana was reattached with cello tape, has heavily soiled margins, a tattered left blank margin, and several long tears through Indiana closed on verso with cello. Covers are heavily worn with bumped corners, and spine has been reinforced with cloth which covers almost all of spine and 2.5" of front and back covers. Front hinge is perished and back hinge is starting. Overall this is a very nice example.

Estimate: $1,500 - $1,800

Sold for: $1,100

Closed on 12/7/2011