Auction 148, Lot 812

"The American Atlas [Facsimile]", Jefferys, Thomas

Subject: Facsimile Atlases

Period: 1974 (published)


Color: Black & White

14.9 x 22.8 inches
37.8 x 57.9 cm

Thomas Jefferys was one of the most important English map publishers of the 18th century. His work included prints and maps of locations around the world, but his most notable maps are of North America and the West Indies. He began his career in the map trade in the early 1730s, working as an engraver for a variety of London publishers, and eventually setting up his own shop. In 1746, he was appointed Geographer to the Prince of Wales, and in 1760 he became Geographer to the King. These titles granted access to manuscripts and cartographic information held by the government. In the early 1760s he embarked on an ambitious project to produce a series of English county maps based on new surveys, but ran out of money and filed for bankruptcy in 1766. He then partnered with London publisher Robert Sayer, who reissued many of Jefferys plates and continued to issue new editions after Jefferys' death in 1771. Jefferys' American Atlas and the accompanying West-India Atlas, published post posthumously, are considered his most important cartographic works.

This superb facsimile atlas was published nearly 200 years after Jeffrey’s original atlas, published by Sayer & Bennett in 1776. This full-size reproduction includes 23 maps (several folding) on 30 sheets. Of the 23 maps, only three focus on Central and South America, with the remainder of the maps presenting the North American continent as it was known on the eve of the American Revolution. Published in Amsterdam by the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum Press with an introduction by Walter Ristow. Hardbound in green cloth with gilt insignia on front cover and title on spine, with blue dust jacket.


Condition: A

Text and maps are near fine with the top corner of the pages slightly dog-eared. Covers are very good with edges slightly bumped and light wear to dust jacket.

Estimate: $1,000 - $1,200

Sold for: $700

Closed on 2/19/2014