Catalog Archive
Auction 165, Lot 354

First Edition of Humboldt's Work on Cuba

"Carte de l'Ile de Cuba... [with 2 Volumes] Essai Politique sur l'Ile de Cuba", Humboldt, Friedrich Heinrich Alexander von

Subject: Cuba

Period: 1826 (published)


Color: Black & White

25.1 x 12.4 inches
63.8 x 31.5 cm

This folding map of Cuba was published in the first edition of Friedrich Heinrich Alexander von Humboldt's impressive 2-volume work on Cuba. This "political essay" on Cuba was one of the founding texts on the island in the 19th century, with information on the geography, economy, people, and political hierarchy of the island. Humboldt's work on Cuba became quite controversial due to his strong stance against slavery and the slave trade, and his support of social and political reform foreshadowed the unrest that was building on the island. The map shows topography, cities, and roads, and gives navigational detail along the coastline. A large inset shows a bird's-eye plan of Havana with good navigational information in the surrounding harbor. A note at top left lists the sources for the map. Drawn by Pierre Lapie, with the map engraved by Flahaut and the lettering by Lallemand.

2 vol., 8vo., pp. xlvi, 364, map; 408. The map is no longer bound in the volume. Exquisitely rebound in full mottled calf with 5 raised bands, gilt tooling and red leather title and volume labels on spines.

References: Cueto #62; Sabin #33719.

Condition: B+

Condition code is for the map, which is very good with faint offsetting, light soiling, and a few small damp stains. The text is very clean and bright in both volumes, and the new bindings are in pristine condition (A+).

Estimate: $2,300 - $2,750

Sold for: $1,400

Closed on 11/15/2017