First edition of this exceptionally rare map of Baltimore, engraved by Francis Shallus, the earliest large format printed plan of the city.
The map includes remarkable early detail, including a detailed street plan, wharfs, roads,, rivers and the location of a number of early land owners, major buildings.
The first edition of this map appeared in 1799. The cartographer is not identified, but there are indications that the maker may have been Charles Varle. In his Chronicles of Baltimore, J. Thomas Scharf writes: "[in 1797] Mr. George Keating published a small plan of the city, and two years after another was published by Mr. Charles Varle, which included some of the environs, with views of the build-ings" (Scharf, p. 283).
Also, a comparison between this map and a 1796 plan of Philadelphia by Varle shows certain similarities in style, e.g., the manner in which houses, trees and relief are depicted, the lettering and the use of insets to illustrate the appearance of some of the major buildings. The plan itself and a comparison with Folie's map (no. 17) shows that Baltimore continued to expand toward the east, south and west, but still not to the north. Harrison's Marsh is completely developed and the wharves extended even further into the Basin. However, Pratt Street is not yet a through street and Charles Street is still facing the water. As noted by Olson (p. 30), the wealthy, for health reasons, erected summer residences on the hilltops; many of these retreats can be seen on this map, especially north and west of the city.
A second edition, published by Warner & Hanna, was published in 1801. While the publishers announced in the May 4, 1801 Federal Gazette that "considerable amendments have been made to the same," there are few changes from the first edition.
An exceptional example of this impossibly rarity, make even more remarkable in full original color. This is the first example of the first edition of this map to appear on the market in at least 40 years. Graham Arader offered an uncolored example of the second edition of the map in 1988 for $8,000.