Auction 149, Lot 747

"Arbuckles' Illustrated Atlas of Fifty Principal Nations of the World", Arbuckle Bros. Coffee Co.

Subject: Atlases

Period: 1889 (dated)


Color: Printed Color

11.2 x 7 inches
28.4 x 17.8 cm

A nice example of this unusual atlas that was designed to advertise Arbuckles Coffee. The atlas is printed on loose pages held together with original twisted string tie. This oblong 4to atlas has 12 sheets, each with four beautiful chromolithographic maps. The front pictorial wrapper has a map of Palestine plus the western hemisphere with numerous cherubs around the bottom. The rear wrapper has a map of Brazil plus a view of the Arbuckle's factory and two finely dressed women enjoying Arbuckle's coffee. Text on facing page describes the map.

Beginning in the mid-1880's, the Arbuckle Bros. Coffee Company began to include advertising cards, commonly referred to as "trade cards" in packages of their coffee. This was a common device used by companies of the time to tout the virtues of their products. But the Arbuckle company carried the concept a step further and created a series of very desirable images. They then encouraged their customers to collect the entire series of cards and to trade cards with their neighbors in order to complete their sets. Thus, "trade" cards began to evolve into "trading" cards.

Arbuckles issued a great variety of cards including birds, animals, cooking, satire, sports and maps. The map series, U.S. States and Nations of the World, were extremely popular. Both series were reissued in album format, available from the company as a mail-order premium. These fascinating cards and albums are still actively collected today, more than 120 years after they were issued. The original Arbuckle Bros. Coffee Company, on the other hand, vanished from the scene over 60 years ago.


Condition: B

The maps are very good to near fine with the first two sheets containing small edge tears that just enter the image at top. There is a minor extraneous crease along the upper left portion of all sheets, and both covers are heavily chipped with a portion of the back cover missing. The front cover is separated and the back cover is loosely attached with cello tape.

Estimate: $500 - $700

Sold for: $250

Closed on 5/21/2014