Rare first edition of Blome's highly important map of the British Colonies in North America, "the first English map to illustrate the middle and north-eastern colonies." (Burden).
Blome's map provides a foundation for understanding the dramatic expansion within the British Colonies over the next several decades and the remarkable evolution of printed maps of the region over the next decade. The present example is offered with a complete copy of the original 1672 text of Blome's work.
First issued in 1672, Blome's map provides one of the earliest looks at the new British Colonies in America. Burden states "it is important as it illustrates the region just prior to the great expansion of cartographic knowledge which would commence with the Augustine Herman VIRGINIA AND MARYLAND map of 1673 and the John Seller map of New England in 1676." Among other noteworthy features is that the map shows the Chesapeake running in a northerly direction, without the usual English depiction of a "hook" at its head.
The map provides a number of early place names along the coastline from the Chesapeake to the Port Royal and St. Johns Harbor, centered on the region between New York City and Cape Cod. This first edition of the map can be distinguished from the equally rare 1678 edition by the new more northerly border between Virginia and New England, the re-engraved latitude numbers on the left side of the map, the original placement of the James River (which was moved to the south in the second edition of the map) and the short river extension above the Chesapeake Bay, which was lengthened significantly in the second state.
Blome's map appeared in the 1672 edition of his A Description of The Island of Jamaica . . . which despite its title was one of the best general promotional tracts of the period. The book's title reflects the patronage of Sir Thomas Lynch, Governor of Jamaica and Colonel Thomas Modyford, a large land owner on the island. The map bears an elaborate dedication to Lord Calvert, Absolute Lord & Proprietary of ye Maryland & Avalon, and includes a large engraving of the Calvert Coat of Arms and Motto, Fatti Maschij Parole Femine.
Blome's book did not appear in the Streeter Sale in the 1960s or in the Frank T. Siebert Sale in 1999. The only auction record we could locate in the past 60 years for the 1672 edition of the book was the example which appeared in the 1991 Pierre S. duPont III Sale. A.S.Rosenbach described the book as rare in 1905.
The present example is offered with a complete copy of the text of the 1672 edition, with title page in facsimile. It is now believed by some experts that the book was rarely issued with a complete set of the four maps (Jamaica, Barbados, Carolinas and Northern & Middle Colonies) and that as a promotional pamphlet, it may have been issued with only the maps of interest to a particular reader/investor.