Auction 140, Lot 405

"Map of the Valley of the Amazon to Accompany Lt. Herndon's Report", Herndon, Lt. William Lewis

Subject: Western South America

Period: 1853 (circa)

Publication: Exploration of the Valley of the Amazon…

Color: Printed Color

24 x 18 inches
61 x 45.7 cm

This is one of three maps that accompanied Herndon's report, Exploration of the Valley of the Amazon. In 1851, Lieutenant Herndon was commissioned to lead the first American expedition of the Valley of the Amazon, "to explore the Amazon, to sound its streams and to report as to their navigability." The exploration and resulting report were made under the direction of the U.S. Navy Department. Herndon journeyed through parts of Peru, Bolivia and Brazil for nearly a year and went on to become the captain of the ill-fated Central America, which sank in 1857 with a load of gold and newly minted gold coin from the Carson City mint. The gold, valued at more than a billion dollars, was recovered in a deep water project completed in 1989.

This seldom seen map details the basin and valley of the Amazon River. The range extends from the Pacific in Peru and Ecuador to the Atlantic and the mouth of the Amazon at the I. Marajo. The watershed is shown in great detail and the tracks of both Herndon and Lt. Lardner Gibbon, who was ordered to explore a different area of the Amazon, are also depicted. At top is a view of a Vertical Section of Route from Callao to Para. Drawn by H.C. Elliot. The map folds into the original covers, titled Herndon's Valley of the Amazon Maps. Part 1. Covers are brown cloth-covered boards, with decorative embossing and gilt title. Map of the Rivers Huallaga, Ucayali & Amazon… was originally included in the covers, but has been removed.


Condition: C+

Folding, as issued, with uneven toning, and still attached to original covers. There are several fold separations, with very small areas of loss in blank areas of map image at two fold intersections. Covers are faded in areas with spots on front cover and a 1" tear along spine.

Estimate: $100 - $150

Sold for: $75

Closed on 5/23/2012