[CALIFORNIA.]
Lot 3312
[CALIFORNIA.]
Sold for US$ 26,250 inc. premium

Lot Details
[CALIFORNIA.]
THE FIRST OFFICIAL MAP OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA.
EDDY, W. M. & COLTON, J. H. Approved & Declared to be The Official Map of the State of California by an Act of the Legislature…. [New York, 1854.] 49 ¾ x 38 3/8 inches. Full original wash color; expertly re-mounted on new linen; some fairly dark staining in inset & outside of area of California; usual splitting and wear but paper superior for this type; overall very good.

The first official map of the state that fixed its basic boundaries as they are, for the most part, known today. After the boundaries for California were agreed upon in 1849 at the State Constitutional Convention, an official map was required to enshrine the borders of the new state. Thus, in April 4, 1850, the State Legislature passed an act requiring the state surveyor to produce an accurate map of the state. The map was completed and accepted in manuscript form in March of 1853. According to Heckrotte, “Eddy was ordered to have the map engraved on copper and copies supplied to various state officials.” Heckrotte does not mention a wider, commercial dissemination of the map, so possibly its distribution was limited to officials, thus explaining its great rarity today. “Eddy’s map is large, in full color, and is splendid in appearance” (Heckrotte). It advanced the mapping of California in significant ways beyond the setting of its boundaries. It was the first map to show the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevadas in its approximately correct location. Also Eddy’s was the first map of California to list its sources. Additionally, it contains a large and generally accurate inset map of San Francisco Bay.
Although Eddy’s map was the best of California to its date, it was not well received, particularly in light of it being the state’s official map. The aspect of the map most roundly criticized was the diagonal eastern border, which trends too much in an east-west direction, thus fattening the southern part of the state. These and several other errors resulted from the not uncommon situation of a mapmaker relying on flawed sources that he could not properly evaluate, or--in the case of this map-—no sources at all. Heckrotte states that several county surveyors reported to Eddy that they did not have usable surveys of their counties. Also, in Eddy’s defense, his project to map the state was woefully under-funded. He presented a proposed budget of $12,850 but was granted only $3000. Thus, he accomplished very little in the way of original surveying. Perhaps the strongest defense of Eddy’s performance is the fact that California would not be accurately mapped until nearly a full 20 years after Eddy’s map appeared, in a work produced by the California Geological Survey in 1873.
Extremely rare. The last recorded example, at auction or in a dealer catalogue, was in 1982. Prior to this example, the last seen was the Streeter copy of the late 60’s. Heckrotte, W. in Cohen, P. Mapping the West, 167-69; California 49, Map 34; Wheat, Maps of the California Gold Region, 257.
See illustration.
Auction information

This sale is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future sales, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this sale, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

For all Sales categories excluding Arms & Armor, Coins & Medals, Motor Cars, Motorcycles, and Wine & Whisky:

Buyer's Premium Rates
25% on the first $100,000 of the Hammer Price
20% from $100,001 to $2,000,000 of the Hammer Price
12% on the excess over $2,000,000 of the Hammer Price

Payment Notices

Payment for purchases may be made in or by (a) cash, (b) cashier's check or money order, (c) personal check with approved credit drawn on a U.S. bank, (d) wire transfer or other immediate bank transfer, or (e) Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover credit, charge or debit card. A processing fee will be assessed on any returned checks. Please note that the amount of cash notes and cash equivalents that can be accepted from a given purchaser may be limited.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licences please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.

Similar Items