Sale 610 Lot 86

* MELISH, John (1771-1822). Map of the United States...Entered...the 16th day of June, 1820... Philadelphia, 1820.

Engraved folding map by J. Vallance and H.S. Tanner, overall 915 x 1490 mm, hand-colored in outline, dissected in 50 sections and mounted on linen, green selvage, marbled paper outer panels, image 883 x 1447 mm (915 x 1490 mm sheet). (Some light fraying to selvage, a few pale stains.) Cloth folding case.


Third state (Martin/Ristow) of the 1820 edition. The first state consists of only the southeast sheet with cartouche; the second state is the first state of Melish's map to be published from nine plates. The third state differs from the second only in the date in the copyright notice, which reads "16th day of June" rather than "6th day of June." According to Streeter, "the only obvious difference between the June 6th and June 16th maps is in the coloration." The 1820 edition is larger than prevoius editions; Melish extends the southern boundary to 16°N (from 22°50'N) to include the Yucatan peninsula, as well as the Caribbean islands. The northern boundary of Tennessee is shown along 36°30' for the first time, following Congress's ratification on 12 May 1820. The depiction of Lake Michigan and the borders of Illinois and Indiana are also corrected to include Chicago within the Illinois state boundaries. Missouri appears as a Territory separate from the Arkansas Territory.

SCARCE: In addition to Streeter's two copies of this edition of Melish's map, we trace only two copies sold at auction in the last 40 years which have reappeared several times. Ristow John Melish and His Map of the United States, p.174; Streeter VI:3809 (this copy).

Estimate $30,000-40,000

Provenance: Thomas W. Streeter (pencil annotations, bookplate, his sale, Parke Bernet, 23 April 1969, part VI, lot 3809).

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