Catalog Archive
Auction 168, Lot 723

"Berta and Elmer Hader's Picture Book of the States", Harper Bros.

Subject: Atlases, United States

Period: 1932 (published)


Color: Printed Color

12.4 x 9.3 inches
31.5 x 23.6 cm

This remarkable book is filled with pictorial maps of the forty-eight states and the District of Columbia (on 28 sheets) with a page of descriptive text keyed to the illustrations. Most of the maps show two states, but Texas, California, Michigan, Florida, Virginia, New York, Massachusetts, and Maine have their own page. Each map is fully illustrated in a fanciful and quaint style reminiscent of the times. The text adjacent to each map outlines the early history and facts about each state. This book is rarely found whole as they are often broken up and sold as individual maps. Hader is probably best known for his dust cover illustration for Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath.

At the back of the book is a message from Angelo Patri, whose words speak true to map lovers everywhere:

"The teacher mounted a chair and untied a string. With a rattling flop a picture map rolled down and my heart jumped up. Never had I seen anything so beautiful. Never since have I seen anything that gave me such a lift. I cannot tell you why. That map spoke to me in a language I knew and could answer [...] I learned most of my history from maps. You see, that old picture map had given me the notion that behind every black line that said 'river' was a story that said 'people,' and I had a keen nose for a story."

First edition, published by Harper & Brothers. Oblong quarto, hardbound in blue pictorial cloth with blind stamped eagle and "E. Pluribus Unum" above the title.


Condition: B+

The colorful maps are generally very good with no tears and only minor soiling and a bit of wear along the sheet edges. The map of MD/PA/NJ has a small abrasion in the bottom margin, and the map of KY/TN was misprinted (see images). The first and last leaves are a bit loose, and the front pastedown has some minor loss from the removal of a bookplate. Covers have average wear with bumped edges.

Estimate: $450 - $550

Sold for: $300

Closed on 6/6/2018