Catalog Archive
Auction 189, Lot 79

One of the Earliest Large-Scale English Maps of North America

"North America Corrected from the Observations Communicated to the Royal Society at London, and the Royal Academy at Paris", Senex, John

Subject: Colonial North America

Period: 1710 (dated)


Color: Hand Color

25.8 x 37.5 inches
65.5 x 95.3 cm
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This striking map is based largely on Delisle's cartography and consolidates new information and data into one of the earliest large-scale English maps of North America. Senex's depiction of the Great Lakes region and accurate definition of the lower Mississippi River and its delta are important contributions to the cartography of the period. The map extends to include coverage of the Canadian Arctic and the Terra Incognita above Baffin's Bay, and south to Central America and the West Indies, where Sir William Phipps' discovery of Spanish wrecks off the coast of the Caicos and southern Bahamas is noted. Throughout the map Senex presents known areas in great detail but leaves less-known areas notably blank.

One of the most interesting features of the map is the depiction of Lahontan's mythical Long River, which includes several extensive notations, one of which reveals the controversy concerning these discoveries: "The Long River, or Dead River was discover'd lately by the Baron Lahontan as far as is mark’d in the Map, that which is more to the westward was drawn by the Savages of the Nation of Gnacsitares on Dear Skins. Unless the Baron Lahontan has invented these things, which is hard to resolve He being the only Person that has Travel'd into these vast Countries." Beyond the Nation of Gnacsitares and a mountain range lies the Nation of Mozeemlecks and a large salt lake. The mythical city of Quivira appears north of Taos and a fragment of R of St. Francisco, and Great Teguaio is named north of Apache country.

The map is dedicated to Anthony Hammond, Commissioner in Her Majesty's Navy, with his coat of arms below the large title cartouche. The ornate title cartouche features Native Americans, exotic animals, birds, and plants. This is the second state as identified by Stevens & Tree, with only Senex named in the cartouche and no imprint beneath the distance scales at bottom left. Printed on two joined sheets, as issued. This example is backed in linen.

References: Tooley (America) p. 47 & 91, #61; Wheat (TMW) #92.

Condition: B+

A nice impression, now backed with linen, with light soiling and small chips at bottom left and right that have been professionally repaired, with a small portion of border replaced in facsimile.

Estimate: $3,000 - $3,750

Sold for: $4,000

Closed on 9/14/2022