Catalog Archive
Auction 191, Lot 825

First Edition Published by Thomas, Cowperthwait & Co.

"A New Universal Atlas Containing Maps of the Various Empires, Kingdoms, States and Republics of the World...", Thomas, Cowperthwait & Co.

Subject: Atlases

Period: 1851 (published)


Color: Hand Color

14.3 x 17.6 inches
36.3 x 44.7 cm
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The title continues "With a special map of each of the United States, Plans of Cities &c. Comprehended in seventy five sheets and forming a series of one hundred and twenty two Maps Plans and Sections." This is a good copy of this famous and highly sought after atlas, complete with 74 hand-colored maps of the world, North America and the other continents, Oceanica, the United States and its territories, and numerous city plans.

Of particular interest is The Map of Texas from the Most Recent Authorities, which was first issued shortly after the state's annexation to the United States. The map portrays early county configurations such as Robertson and Milam, extending from central Texas northwestward to the Red River; San Patricio, extending from the Nueces to the Rio Grande; and Bexar, comprising all lands to the southwest and west along the Rio Grande and northwards into the present panhandle. The panhandle in an inset is titled, "Texas North of the Red River" at lower left. Several early roads are depicted including the Presido Road, and Fort Alamo, mines, and the presidios of Rio Grande, del Norte el de las Yuntas, del Paso del Norte are identified. The map includes many early settlements including Orozimbo, Bolivar, Qintana, Liverpool, De Kalb, Boston, Dangerfield, Smithland, Pulaski, Teran, Belgrade, Salem, Zavala, and Aurora, and more.

The impressive map of the west has Oregon extending to the Continental Divide, the huge Utah territory extending from California to Indian Territory, and New Mexico occupying all of the Southwest with a pre-Gadsden Purchase border. The double-page map of the United States features the same borders depicted in the western map, plus it has a large inset "Gold Region of California." The map of Minnesota features the large region of Pembina extending to the Missouri River. The frontispiece is a hand-colored, engraved diagram showing the lengths of rivers and heights of mountains. The title page includes a fine chromolithographic image titled "First Landing of Columbus in the New World."

Hardbound, frontispiece, pictorial title page, table of contents, and 74 hand-colored maps. Bound in original marbled paper with red leather tips and spine, and a red leather title label on front cover. This is the first edition published by Thomas, Cowperthwait & Co., who had purchased the copyright from Samuel Augustus Mitchell in 1850.


Condition: B+

The maps are good to mostly very good with some soiling, light toning primarily along the sheet edges, occasional small stains in the borders, and small chips in the bottom corners (blank margins) of some sheets. The maps of Connecticut and New York are detached, and the maps of the West Indies and southern South America are toned. Covers have some staining and are moderately worn.

Estimate: $3,000 - $3,750

Sold for: $2,000

Closed on 2/8/2023