Catalog Archive
Auction 150, Lot 199

"[Lot of 2] Amer. Sep. Partie des Etats-Unis. No. 49 [and] Amer. Sep. Partie des Etats-Unis. No. 55", Vandermaelen, Philippe Marie Guillaume

Subject: Central United States

Period: 1825 (published)

Publication: Atlas Universel

Color: Hand Color

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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."

A. Amer. Sep. Partie des Etats-Unis. No. 49, (23.0 x 18.9"). This fascinating map provides an excellent view of Missouri and Illinois with very early county development. The map is centered on the Missouri River, extending to the Platte and Omaha regions with excellent information on Indian Tribes and village populations, mineral deposits and explorers routes.

B. Amer. Sep. Partie des Etats-Unis. No. 55, (19.9 x 18.3"). Interesting sheet depicting the Red River portion of northern Texas and part of the Territory of Arkansas, which included a portion of future Oklahoma.

The Atlas Universel was a monumental work and milestone in cartography; particularly the cartography of the American West. It was the first atlas of the world with all maps on the same scale (1: 1,641,836 - about one inch to 26 miles) and the first lithographed world atlas. The maps (400 in all) were intended to be joined together, thus forming a globe measuring 7.75 meters in diameter. There was only one edition, published in a series of parts between 1825-27, and the subscription list shows that only 810 copies were sold.


Condition: A

Clean and bright examples with just a few tiny spots in the images.

Estimate: $450 - $550

Sold for: $300

Closed on 9/17/2014