Maps and Exploration in Fine Books and Manuscripts  

Maps and Exploration in Fine Books and Manuscripts

Blog | September 11, 2017
Fine Books and Manuscripts, J.T. Palmatary, Bird's Eye View of Chicago_Lot 67

Our upcoming Fine Books and Manuscripts auction on September 13 includes an impressive collection of maps that display the long history of exploration in North America.

Fine Books and Manuscripts, Henricus Hondius, Lot 24

Lot 24: Cartographer Henricus Hondius created this seventeenth-century map using multiple sources, including Henry Briggs, John Smith and Hessel Gerritsz. His map is well-known for perpetuating the then-common misbelief that California was an island, an error which wasn’t widely corrected until the 18th Century.

Fine Books and Manuscripts, Champlain and DuVal Map of the Great Lakes and Modern Day Canada_Lot 28

Lot 28: This hand-colored seventeenth-century map of the Great Lakes region and present-day Canada, is printed from a copperplate executed after Champlain, the “Father of New France.” Though it is believed he created it to include in his 1619 chronicle of the new world, Voyage et découvertes faites en la Nouvelle France, it was never included in that publication. In the 1650s, cartographer and explorer Pierre Du Val updated Champlain’s map with new place names and his imprint prior to publishing it.

Fine Books and Manuscripts, Coronelli, Map of the Great Lakes and the Mississippi, Lot 30

Lot 30: Coronelli’s view of the Great Lakes and the Mississippi is one of 12 sections (called “globe gores”) he published for his 1688 globe. This gore is significant for incorporating La Salle’s findings from his 1681-1687 journeys to the mouth of the Mississippi. Chicago is featured at the center of the gore which, at the time was an important portage used by Jolliet, La Salle and others to travel between Lake Michigan and the Illinois River.

Fine Books and Manuscripts, J.T. Palmatary, Bird's Eye View of Chicago_Lot 67

Lot 67: Regardless of the era, cartographers have always been fascinated by regions in the Americas. John Palmatary’s “Bird’s-Eye View of Chicago” shows the city at a transitional moment. Made in 1857, it shows how rapidly the city grew in the twenty- five years after it was incorporated. Palmatary’s view offers a glimpse of life in Chicago in the years just before the Great Chicago Fire permanently altered the city.

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