Vandermaelen was the son of a wealthy industrialist who abandoned his father's business to follow a career in cartography. His goal was to produce the first atlas ever published in which every map was drawn on the same projection and to the same scale (1: 1,641,836), with each map covering an area of approximately 20 degrees of longitude (from Paris) and 6 degrees of latitude. Because of the consistent scale and projection, the maps could be joined together to form a huge globe that would measure over 25 feet in diameter. Vandermaelen had the only known globe constructed from his maps, requiring a special room for its display. It was also the first lithographic atlas ever published. There was one edition of the atlas, published in 1825-27, and the subscription list shows that only 810 copies were sold. Koeman called his Atlas Universel, "One of the most remarkable world atlases ever made. Far ahead of its time."
The Atlas Universel was the first atlas to present all the maps on the same scale (1:1,641,836) about one inch to 26 miles, with each map covering an area of approximately 20 degrees longitude (from Paris) and 6 degrees of latitude. It was also considered to be the first lithographic atlas ever published. The maps were meant to be joined together to form a huge globe measuring 7.775 meters in diameter. Only one edition of the atlas was published in 1825-27 and the subscription list shows that just 810 copies were sold, making these maps very scarce.
A. Carte d'Assemblage de l'Amerique Septenle. (24.3 x 19.5"). This is the index map of North America, and this key sheet presents the major topographical features along with the locations of major Indian tribes. Alaska is shown in an inset. Condition: Original color with light centerfold toning and faint offsetting.
B. Amer. Sep. Partie de la Vieille Californie No. 58 (20.3 x 18.3"). Covers the Baja from Isle Redonda and the Mission de San Francisco Borja to La Paz. This was the first atlas map to provide such a fine level of detail in the Baja. Condition: Original color with light centerfold toning with a 2" centerfold separation which is repaired on verso with archival material.