Broadsheet folio (21 1/2 x 16 in.; 546 x 406 mm). BINDING: Expertly bound to style in half 18th century Russia and period marbled paper covered boards, spine with raised bands in seven compartments, red morocco lettering piece in the second the others with a repeat decoration in gilt.
The bespoke nature of this atlas results in a great variety of the maps present in the few extant examples, although some maps would appear to be consistent across all known copies. In the last quarter century, only three examples of Faden's North American Atlas have appeared at auction: Swann Galleries, 8 December 2015, $341,000 (42 maps); Sotheby's London, 15 March 2000, £144,500 ($227,183) (34 maps); and Sotheby's New York, 7 December 1999, $200,500 (36 maps). The two examples held by the Library of Congress contain 27 and 23 maps, respectively.
Of particular note is the presence of the following maps:
Mead, Braddock. A Map of the most Inhabited part of New England containing the Provinces of Massachusets [sic.] Bay and New Hampshire, with the Colonies of Conecticut [sic?] and Rhode Island, Divided into Counties and Townships: The whole composed from Actual Surveys and its Situation adjusted by Astronomical Observations. London: Jefferys, 1774. Folding map printed on four sheets, joined as two, hand-colored in outline. THE GRANDEST, MOST ACCURATE AND DETAILED MAP OF NEW ENGLAND PRODUCED DURING THE BRITISH COLONIAL PERIOD. It depicts the entire region from Long Island Sound up north to line of 44'30 of latitude. While it shows that the coastal areas, and the lower Connecticut Valley were well settled, areas of the interior, especially in New Hampshire and the future Vermont were just developing, with the early boundaries of townships having recently been established by surveyors. Importantly, this map contains two detailed cartographic insets, one of the city of Boston (upper-left), and another of Boston Harbor on the lower-right sheet. The map is also adorned with a very handsome pictorial title cartouche, depicting the arrival of the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock in 1620.
Faden, William. The Attack and Defeat of the American Fleet under Benedict Arnold, by the Kings Fleet Commanded by Sir Guy Carleton, upon Lake Champlain, the 11th of October 1776. London: Faden, 1776. Double page, with text below the image. The exceedingly rare, and perhaps suppressed, first edition of Faden's battle plan of the Battle of Valcour Island, ONE OF THE RAREST OF ALL PRINTED BATTLE PLANS FOR THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION: THIS AN UNRECORDED ISSUE WITH EXPLANATORY TEXT GIVING AN ACCOUNT OF THE BATTLE. Faden's plan is the definitive cartographic record for Benedict Arnold's engagement with the British fleet at Valcour Island on Lake Champlain, the high point in Benedict Arnold's military career. Faden's plan, which was derived from "a sketch taken by an Officer on the Spot," accurately depicts the movements of the two naval squadrons, as well as the tracks of the retreat of the American survivors back to Fort Ticonderoga on the evening following the initial action. While the British had technically defeated the Americans at Valcour Island, Arnold's delaying tactics forced the British to return to Canada for the winter, thereby delaying the British plan to march these forces south to join General Howe on the Hudson River. If the British had reached Albany that winter, the American Revolution likely would have collapsed altogether. Thus the British viewed Valcour Island as a significant military failure. The present first state of the map includes Sir Guy Carleton's name within the title, as the Commander of the British fleet. Following this edition, Carleton's name would be removed from the title of the map and replaced with Captain Thomas Pringle, thus passing the blame for the perceived failure. The Pringle, second state of the map is known to have been issued both with and without explanatory text; the present first issue, with Carleton's name, is unrecorded with the explanatory text, as here.
Ratzer, Bernard. The Province of New Jersey, Divided into East and West, commonly called The Jerseys. London: Faden, 1777. Folding map, hand-colored in outline. THE FIRST STATE OF ONE OF THE FINEST AND MOST CELEBRATED MAPS OF NEW JERSEY, MADE DURING THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR.
A full list of maps and their states is available upon request.
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