Auction 153, Lot 26

"A Mercator Chart of the World", Bowen, Thomas

Subject: World

Period: 1778 (dated)

Publication: Middleton's Complete System of Geography

Color: Hand Color

17.6 x 13.2 inches
44.7 x 33.5 cm

This fascinating map of the world is crossed with Captain Cook's routes from his first and second voyages. Despite the 1778 date beneath the title, the map only tracks Cook's explorations through 1775. Since the cartography predates his third voyage, Alaska (here called Stachtan Nitada of the RussiansFonte's pretended Entrance, with Fuca's Entrance farther south, references to the Northwest Passage. The map also features a conjectural River of the West. Another note on the northwest coast of North America mentions Fou-sang, a mythical Chinese colony allegedly established in the 5th century. The states are identified east of the Mississippi, while the western frontier is divided into Louisiana and New Mexico. The Pacific Ocean is filled with tiny islands. New Zealand is fully formed, while Tasmania is still attached to Australia. The fictitious Company's Land appears as a fragment of coastline to the north of Japan.


Condition: B+

Issued folding with light offsetting from an opposing page of text at left and a touch of soiling.

Estimate: $325 - $400

Sold for: $300

Closed on 5/20/2015