Auction 148, Lot 805

"Johnson's New Illustrated (Steel Plate) Family Atlas, with Physical Geography, and with Descriptions Geographical, Statistical, and Historical, Including the Latest Federal Census…", Johnson & Ward

Subject: Atlases

Period: 1864 (published)


Color: Hand Color

14.8 x 18.8 inches
37.6 x 47.8 cm

This complete atlas contains 66 beautifully rendered, steel-engraved maps, including 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. The beautiful American Atlas frontispiece shows Native Americans overlooking a rapidly developing river valley. This 1864 edition is the last year with steel engraved plates, with a few 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 double-page Civil War map Vicinity of Richmond.

The Southwest map is the 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. 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.

Folio. Hardbound in original green cloth with quarter calf spine and tips, embossed covers with gilt titling on cover and spine, and marbled edges and end papers.


Condition: B+

Contents are generally very good with light toning and foxing. The map of the world on Mercator's projection is completely separated along the centerfold, and the map of England & Wales has a 2" centerfold separation at top. Covers and spine show only light wear with a few small stains on the front cover.

Estimate: $1,400 - $1,700

Sold for: $1,000

Closed on 2/19/2014