Jun 07, 2017 - Sale 2450

Sale 2450 - Lot 60

Price Realized: $ 27,500
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 10,000 - $ 15,000
EVANS, LEWIS. Speciel Land Charte von Pensilvanien, Neu Jersey, Neu York. Engraved map of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York with original hand-coloring. 25 1/4x19 1/2 inches sheet size, margins just outside platemark; original folds, oxidation of original mineral pigments, "Pensilvanien" in ink on verso. Frankfurt, 1750

Additional Details

In 1749 Lewis Evans, America's greatest eighteenth century cartographer, published his first major map titled "A Map of Pensilvania, New-Jersey, New-York, and the Three Delaware Counties." This extremely scarce map was published in Philadelphia and details the area described in the title, providing what minimal cartographical knowledge of the interior lands there was at the time. Part of the information was compiled by Evans himself during a trek through the region in 1743. In the center of the map appears a bold, frightening, yet tantalizing statement: The Endless Mountains. Line after line of engraved comments and anecdotes relating to the land, weather, rivers, safe routes of passage between already established towns and places populate the empty spaces of the map. As put by Seymour Schwartz in Mapping of America "Furnishing the first detailed coverage of such a large colonial area, the map of course has great importance."

The map presently being offered was published in Frankfurt, Germany in 1750, one year after that map appeared. It is an edition for which only one other extant copy can be located, in the Library of Congress. Lewis Evans' name is given as "Ludwig Evans" on the map. The cartography is faithfully copied and unchanged, while every name of every town, river, mountain range, Indian tribe, and each letter of Evans' long lines of descriptive and alluring text has been translated and painstakingly re-engraved from the English to German. This map was printed and presumably distributed during a time that represented a huge swell of German immigration to this particular area. The Pennsylvania Germans are aptly named. What we see here is an unidentified engraver or publisher providing an eager German audience the visible, tangible, information they would have desperately sought to influence the decision to change their lives for the promise of a new and prosperous life in a far-away land. A glimpse of this map most certainly would have given the final push to many first generation settlers who begat a huge population that still remains in many areas steeped in its traditions. It is an extremely beautiful, important and even moving piece of cartography.

As Evans wrote on the English edition of the map: "This country is finely improved to the mountains; and the inhabitants enjoying the fruits of the difficulty of first settling. The roads are very well accommodated. Here opportunity and materials are never wanting to furnish the industrious with profusion. It is a country of Liberty and good laws, where justice is administered without rigour or partiality."