Auction 154, Lot 181

"Amer. Sep. Partie des Etats-Unis No. 39", Vandermaelen, Philippe Marie Guillaume

Subject: Northwestern United States

Period: 1825 (circa)

Publication: Atlas Universel

Color: Hand Color

20.9 x 18.9 inches
53.1 x 48 cm

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."

This lithographed map covers parts of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming with the Yellowstone River along the eastern border, the Lewis River (Salmon River) along the western border, and the Missouri River to the north. It features Lewis and Clark's route with notations concerning the hardships they encountered on the passage. John Colter's 1807 route through Crow country is also shown. The map is based on the Lewis and Clark map as evidenced by the erroneous Lake Riddle draining into the Big Horn River. Several Indian tribes are located (along with their population) but there are no towns or settlements shown. The source of the Yellowstone River is noted as chaude et sulfurease (hot and sulfurous). There is great detail of the topography, with relief shown by hachures.

The Atlas Universel contained 400 maps in six volumes. It was the first atlas made up of lithographed maps, and the first to present all the maps on the same scale (1: 1,641,836), with each map covering an area of approximately 20 degrees longitude (from Paris) and 6 degrees of latitude. If all the maps were joined together they would form a globe of 7.75 meters in diameter. The maps were published by subscription between 1825 and 1827, with each part containing ten maps. There was only one edition and the subscription list shows that 810 copies were sold; thus the maps are quite rare.


Condition: A

Original color with wide margins, minor toning, a few spots of foxing, and short centerfold separations confined to the blank margins.

Estimate: $350 - $425

Sold for: $300

Closed on 9/16/2015