Catalog Archive
Auction 190, Lot 155

The Earliest Collectible Map of Eastern North Carolina & Virginia

"Americae Pars, nunc Virginia Dicta, Primum ab Anglis Inventa, Sumtibus Dn. Walteri Raleigh...", White/De Bry

Subject: Colonial Southeast United States

Period: 1590 (circa)

Publication: Admiranda Narratio Fida Tamen, de Commodis et Incolarum Ritibus Virginiae

Color: Hand Color

16.2 x 11.8 inches
41.1 x 30 cm
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This remarkable map of eastern North Carolina and a portion of Virginia is one of the most significant milestones in the cartographic history of North America. It is the most accurate 16th century map of any portion of North America, and is the earliest collectible map of the region. It is the first to show and name the Chesapeake Bay (Chesepiooc Sinus), and the second map of Roanoke.

Based directly on the manuscript map by John White, governor of the Roanoke colony, the map records the first English attempts at colonization in the New World. The map's influence can be seen in virtually every map of Colonial North America for the succeeding 100 years including works by de Jode (1593), Wytfliet (1597) and Metellus (1598) to name a few. Cartographically, the map covers the region from Chesapeake Bay to Cape Lookout, locating numerous Indian villages. Large sections of the interior are labeled as Secotan, Weapemeoc, and Chawanook. The map is a masterful engraving adorned with the Royal Arms of England, English ships sailing in the Outer Banks, Indian canoes around the Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds, Indian figures, a large compass rose, sea monster, and two decorative cartouches. This example appears to be the second state according to Burden with the village name Chesepiooc with a "C" correcting the original plate's "E". Published in volume one of Theodore De Bry's Collectiones Pergrinationum in Indiam Occidentalem.

References: Burden #76; Cumming (SE) #12; Schwartz & Ehrenberg, plt. 37; Stephenson & McKee pp. 26-27; Wooldridge pp. 9-15.

Condition: A

A crisp impression on watermarked paper with just a few faint spots and minor soiling mostly in the margins. This is the nicest example we have encountered.

Estimate: $15,000 - $18,000

Sold for: $12,500

Closed on 11/16/2022