Auction 162, Lot 58

American Edition of George Wright's Thematic Map

"The Journey of Life or an Accurate Map of the Roads, Counties, Towns &c. in the Ways to Happiness and Misery [bound in] A Key to the Journey of Life...",

Subject: Cartographic Miscellany

Period: 1838 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

7 x 10.1 inches
17.8 x 25.7 cm

This is an American version of George Wright's The Journey of Life... that was published in his Walking Amusements for Cheerful Christians. This fascinating, allegorical map is centered on the "City of Reason or Natural Man" and depicts a wide road that "leadeth to destruction" and a narrow road that "leadeth to life." The counties on the "wide" road include Indifference, Obduracy, Impenitence, and finally Hell, while the "narrow" road includes Repentance, Faith, Perseverance, and Heaven. The map includes many symbolic rivers and mountains including "Streams of Sensual Delight" and "Mountain of Contemplation" and is surrounded by a scroll border.

Published by Christian Keener, a Methodist from Baltimore, the pamphlet includes a 2 page preface explaining his fascination as a youth with a badly torn copy of the Wright map published in 1775. Unable to find a better copy despite his years of search, he had his copy engraved by J. & W.N. Warr of Philadelphia and published the map in a select number of copies of his 7 page pamphlet, "A Key to the Journey of Life." According to OCLC, there are no copies held including the preface and map.

References: cf. Map Collector #62, p. 7.

Condition: B

There are two old cello tape repairs to fold separations along the sheet edges with one just touching the neatline, as well as a 0.75" edge tear at right where the map was adhered to the front cover and ripped slightly. Text and paper wrappers have light damp stains.

Estimate: $250 - $325

Sold for: $500

Closed on 4/26/2017