Catalog Archive
Auction 159, Lot 751

Colton's Superb Two-Volume Atlas of the World

"[2 Volumes] Colton's Atlas of the World, Illustrating Physical and Political Geography ... Volume I. - North and South America, Etc. [and] ... Volume II. - Europe, Asia, Africa, Oceanica, Etc.", Colton, Joseph Hutchins

Subject: Atlases

Period: 1856 (published)


Color: Hand Color

16.8 x 19.3 inches
42.7 x 49 cm
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This complete, matching two volume folio atlas contains two engraved frontispieces and 105 maps/plans, each with Colton's decorative strapwork border. First edition with original brown cloth binding and quarter leather with gilt banding and title on spine and embossed gilt illustration on covers. Both volumes with frontispiece, title pages, list of maps, text and tables.

Volume I contains maps concentrating on the Western Hemisphere. 44 sheets relate to the United States, displaying 63 maps/plans, with numerous sought after single-page state maps - many with city insets. There are several great early western maps including: the U.S. map featuring Kanzas; the map of Texas with early county configurations; the early map of Minnesota showing its border on the Missouri River. Also present is the most desirable Nebraska and Kanzas map that depicts Nebraska stretching from Kansas to the Canadian border and bounded on the west by Washington and Oregon at the Continental Divide and Minnesota on the east. Includes the map of the territories of New Mexico and Utah, the California map with the large inset of San Francisco, and the territories of Washington and Oregon with their eastern boundaries on the Continental Divide and county development limited to the coastal areas. City plans included in Volume I are Montreal, Boston, New York (double-page), Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, Richmond, Norfolk/Portsmouth, Savannah/ Charleston, Louisville/New Orleans, Pittsburgh/Cincinnati, St. Louis/Chicago, Panama, Havana, Lima, Rio Janeiro, Pernambuco. This edition has the frontispiece showing Native American Indians overlooking a valley filled with frontier settlement and development.

Volume II continues with 42 maps/plans of Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Oceania. City plans in Volume II include London and Paris (both full-page and uncolored), Amsterdam, Brussels, Hamburg, Bremen, Vienna, and Hong-Kong. Opposite the title page the frontispiece shows four women studying a large globe turned to the Eastern Hemisphere. Also with the double-page comparative chart illustrating the heights of mountains and lengths of rivers.


Condition: B+

Condition code is for the maps which are very good to near fine with light toning and occasional minor foxing in volume two (non-Americas). The frontispiece of volume two has moderate scattered foxing. The spine of volume one has been replaced with most of the original title label preserved and adhered to it. Volume two's spine is chipped at the tail and the front board is detached at top but still intact. Both volumes have moderately worn and stained covers.

Estimate: $2,500 - $3,250

Sold for: $1,500

Closed on 9/14/2016