Catalog Archive
Auction 189, Lot 137

"Pageant of the States",

Subject: United States, Atlases

Period: 1938 (published)


Color: Printed Color

12.2 x 9.3 inches
31 x 23.6 cm
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This complete pictorial atlas of the United States was created for the New York World's Fair in 1939 and includes maps of each of the 48 states. This atlas was the first in a series of publications that were officially sponsored by the Fair and served both as a tribute to democracy and as an "epic story of the various American states." The New York World's Fair was held on the 150th anniversary of the inauguration of George Washington and of the year in which the Constitution of the United States became effective, and thus the "launching of the present American government." The atlas leads with a two-page essay on democracy by Dr. Frank Monaghan, of the Department of History at Yale University, illustrated with photographic images of statues representing the four basic freedoms: Press, Assembly, Religion, and Speech.

The maps in the atlas were created by Norman Reeves and are included in the order of their charters or of their admission to statehood, beginning with Virginia (1606) and ending with Arizona (1912). Each colorful single-page map is filled with images representing the state, such as agricultural resources, products manufactured, important sites and buildings, and key cities. The page opposing each map includes information on the history of the state.

The atlas was created by Dr. Ernest Sutherland Bates and Dr. Herman S. Schiff. This version of the atlas was used as a promotional tool for the insurance company Royal Liverpool Groups, with a single-page advertisement at the front of the volume stating "it may truly be said that the romance of the States has been enhanced by the romance of Insurance." Hardbound in blue cloth with gilt title on the front cover.


Condition: A

Condition code is for the maps, which are very clean and bright. Text is also near fine, while the endpapers and advertising page are lightly toned. Covers have some soiling and shelf wear.

Estimate: $350 - $425

Sold for: $300

Closed on 9/14/2022