Catalog Archive
Auction 163, Lot 41

Index Sheet of Popple's Map

"A Map of the British Empire in America with the French, Spanish and Hollandish Settlements Adjacent Thereto by Henry Popple", Popple/Covens & Mortier

Subject: Colonial Eastern North America & West Indies

Period: 1741 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

19 x 19.4 inches
48.3 x 49.3 cm
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This is the index sheet of the Dutch version of Henry Popple's important map of the British Empire in North America, published by Covens and Mortier. Popple's map is the finest and most detailed map of America of its time and covers the eastern part of North America between the Mississippi River and Newfoundland and the adjoining regions of Central and South America and the Caribbean. Popple relied on numerous sources in creating his map, including Delisle, De Fer, Colonel John Barnwell, James Edward Oglethorpe, and Cadwallader Colden. Despite Popple's use of up-to-date sources, cartographical errors still remain. Lake Ontario is depicted in a southwest to northeast orientation, rather than its nearly east-west orientation. Lake Michigan is called by the old French name of Lake Illinois. A large lake filled with small islands appears in the area of present-day South Dakota. Popple's map was also criticized for relying too heavily on French sources and therefore showing land claims that were unfavorable to the British.

Despite the geographical inaccuracies, Popple's map was filled with splendid artistic elements. In upper left and right hand corners are insets of Niagara Falls, Mexico City, Quebec and New York City. At right is a column of 18 plans of ports, harbors and islands including Cartagena, Charleston, Bermuda, New York, and Boston. The map is richly embellished with a title cartouche featuring Native Americans, monkeys, a crocodile and a scene of European traders. Numerous ships and sea battles are shown throughout the oceans that are hachured to depict current directions. Engraved by Johannes Condet.

References: Cumming (SE) #231; McCorkle #741.3; cf. Pritchard & Taliaferro #24.

Condition: A

Fine original color and impression with very light toning and a few unobtrusive spots of foxing. There is a tiny hole in wide blank margins, well away from map.

Estimate: $2,750 - $3,500

Sold for: $2,400

Closed on 6/14/2017