This is an 1825 Henry S. Tanner map of New England. The map depicts the states of Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire. The map is cartographically most interesting in Maine, where it exhibits a primitive county structure. There is a stunning decorative vignette in the lower right containing the map's title, as well as an illustration of a surveyor on top of a rocky outcrop. In the foreground fisherman work the cod fisheries while a larger sailing vessel is being repaired in the background.
A Great DealThis is wonderful map which commonly retails for between 1800 - 2500 USD. The present example is offered at a fraction of the usual retail price due to condition issues. The map is has a repaired centerfold spit, some buckling, and 6 inch tear from the right margin apparent just above the cartouche. Nonetheless, it presents beautifully and remains a striking decorative piece. The impressive detail and accuracy present in all the maps published by Tanner in his New American Atlas are easily read and appreciated.
Publication HistoryThis map was originally engraved for Tanner's monumental New American Atlas, issued between 1819 and 1823. The present example is from the revised edition of the atlas published in 1825. The New American Atlas is considered to be the apex achievement of what Ristow refers to as the 'Golden Age of American Map Publishing.' Each map from the New American Atlas is a finely engraved masterpiece featuring the most up to date cartographic information as well as elaborate thematic cartouche work and delicate colorwork. All maps from this series are highly desirable and have become extremely scarce - the present example being no exception.
Henry Schenck Tanner (1786 - May 18, 1858) was one of the preeminent American map engravers and publishers of the early 19th century - what is considered to be the "Golden Age of American Map Publishing". Born in New York City but based in Philadelphia, Tanner's forty plus year career was almost entirely focused on cartographic work. His earliest map work appears in conjunction with another important map publisher, John Melish. Early in his career, Tanner partnered with his brother Benjamin, to engrave extensively for Melish as well as other Philadelphia publishers including Lucas Fielding (Baltimore), A. Bourne, Jason Torey, Samuel Harrison, and Samuel Lewis, among others. In 1818 Tanner convinced his fellow publishers and partners to finance the compilation of a New American Atlas. The atlas was sold by subscription and slowly emerged between 1819 and 1823. The New American Atlas, possibly the pinnacle of 19th century American cartography and was commended in its day as "one of the most splendid works of the kind ever executed in this country". It was subsequently republished in several updated editions until about 1839. Tanner had by this time become the most active and influential map publisher in the United States. Around 1832, recognizing the market for a less cost prohibitive atlas, Tanner began work on the smaller format New Universal Atlas. This popular and important atlas went through numerous editions before being bought out by Carey and Hart, and then, in 1846, by S. A. Mitchell, who would rise to become the preeminent publisher of the next generation. In addition to these important atlases, Tanner also issued numerous extremely important and influential travelers guides, state maps, wall maps, and pocket maps. He should not be confused with his brother, also an America map engraver, the New Yorker Benjamin Tanner.
Tanner, H. S. New American Atlas
, (Philadelphia) 1825.
Tanner's New American Atlas
is regarding as the largest and most beautiful early American atlas, truly a landmark achievement from the Golden Age of American Cartography. The atlas was initially published in five parts between 1819 and 1823, after which collected editions were issued in 1823, 1825, 1833, and 1839. It terms of size, format, printing quality, paper quality, cartographic accuracy, and elegance of engraving, the New American Atlas
was unparalleled. As noted by map historian Walter Ristow, 'Tanner's atlas raised U.S. commercial map production to a new level of excellence.' His contemporaries were also duly impressed. The American educator and historian Jared Sparks, as quoted by Ristow, describes the atlas as thus:
on the whole as an American Atlas, we believe Mr. Tanner’s work to hold a rank far above any other, which has been published. The authentic documents, to which he had access, the abundance of his materials, the apparent fidelity, with which they are compiled, the accurate construction of his maps, and the elegance with which they are executed, all these afford ample proofs of the high character of the work, of its usefulness as a means of extending the geographic knowledge of our own country, and of its claims to public patronage. (Ristow, p. 197)
Average. Exhibits faded color, a centerfold split, some buckling, and two repaired tears that enter the printed area from the left margin. Price reflects condition. Blank on verso.
Rumsey 0985.002, 4862.014, 5388.014. Philips (Atlases) 1374-12, 3669-8.