Catalog Archive
Auction 146, Lot 98

First State of Moll's Map of North America

"A New Map of the North Parts of America Claimed by France under ye Names of Louisiana, Mississipi, Canada and New France with ye Adjoyning Territories of England and Spain", Moll, Herman

Subject: North America

Period: 1720 (dated)


Color: Hand Color

39.8 x 24.3 inches
101.1 x 61.7 cm
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This large format map of North America is one of the most accurate English maps of the early 18th century. It is based upon Delisle's influential map of 1718 and refutes the French territorial claims made on that map. The map shows French claims covering the Midwest and Mississippi valley. Moll notes the encroachment of the English claims in the east with a dotted line roughly following the Allegheny Mountains, showing the French interpretation of the evolving boundaries. Dotted lines also note the disputed boundaries of Carolina. These rival claims eventually culminated in the French and Indian War. According to Cumming, Moll’s map presents new information in the Southeast including trading routes, Indian tribes and villages, and French, English and Spanish forts and settlements. This information, which does not appear on any other printed map, was purportedly obtained from a manuscript map in the Public Record Office in London. In the west, California is shown as an island and the entire west coast south of Lahontan's Limit is marked as "Parts Unknown." While there is little inland detail, the river system is well documented, including an area of Texas where many French explorers' routes are shown. The map is filled with interesting notations noting the quality of the land, the variety of Indian nations, the Country full of Beeves (Texan longhorn cattle) and a fascinating account of an Indian slave-hunting expedition in Florida. There are three insets including The Harbour at Annapolis Royal, A Map of the Mississippi and Mobile Rivers &c., and The Indian Fort Sasquehanok. It is further decorated by an elegant title cartouche topped with the British coat of arms and an elaborate distance scale. This is the first state of the map, dated 1720, with the imprint of Thomas Bowles, John King and John Bowles. Printed on two sheets, joined as issued.

References: McLaughlin #197; Wheat (TMW) #105; Cumming (SE) pp. 43-44; Pritchard & Taliaferro #21.

Condition: A

A fine impression with very minor soiling, a few professionally repaired fold separations, and a bit of show-through (along Mississippi River) of manuscript notation on verso. Professionally remargined with neatline expertly replaced in facsimile. Backed with Japanese tissue.

Estimate: $5,500 - $7,000

Sold for: $4,750

Closed on 9/4/2013