Catalog Archive
Auction 174, Lot 94

Important Large Map of North America Featuring the Young United States

"A New Map of North America, with the West India Islands. Divided According to the Preliminary Articles of Peace, Signed at Versailles, 20, Jan. 1783...", Sayer, Robert

Subject: North America

Period: 1786 (dated)


Color: Hand Color

45.9 x 39.9 inches
116.6 x 101.3 cm
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This large, influential map had a long and varied publishing history. Originated by Emanuel Bowen and John Gibson and published by Robert Sayer circa 1755 to illustrate the seat of the French and Indian War, the map went through numerous revisions and editions to document the expanding cartographic knowledge and political landscape of North America. This is the tenth edition; the second issue following the formation of the United States. The map provides an extremely detailed view of the continent at the conclusion of the American Revolution. The United States is shown with its 1783 treaty border and the French and Spanish possessions are noted. It locates hundreds of settlements and Indian villages and is filled with interesting notations referring to native tribes and historical events. A number of roads are shown on the map stretching all the way to the Southwest and into Mexico. There are two interesting inset maps. One shows the discoveries of Father Eusebius Kino in the Southwest that proved that California was not an island. The other illustrates the ongoing search for a Northwest Passage, showing Baffin and Hudson Bays with the fictional Lake de Fonte reaching nearly to Baffin Bay. It is embellished with a bold title cartouche featuring Native Americans and indigenous animals. In this edition the imprint is "London. Printed for Robt Sayer, Map, Chart & Printseller … August 15th 1786." Printed on four sheets, joined.

References: Stevens & Tree (MCC-39) #49-j.

Condition: B+

On watermarked paper with light soiling, a few minor dampstains at left and top right, and a fold separation that just enters neatline at top right. There are remnants of hinge tape on verso.

Estimate: $2,400 - $3,000

Sold for: $1,800

Closed on 9/11/2019