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Second State of Bowen & Gibson's Iconic Map of North America

Rare separately issued 1763 edition of Bowen & Gibson's important 4-sheet map of North America, one of the most enduring wall maps of North America published in the second half of the 18th Century.

This edition was issued at the conclusion of the French & Indian War and still includes a reference to the French Dominions in North America, unlike subsequent editions where the word French is removed from the title.

The map is one of the best large format representations of the British Colonies, from a British perspective, at the conclusion of the French & Indian War. The claims of the Carolinas, Virginia and Pennsylvania extend to the Mississippi, following the defeat of the French and the Treaty of Paris in 1763. A massive Louisiana appears West of the Mississippi, and Spain dominates Texas and Upper California.

A large inset shows a full size reproduction of the seminal Kino map, which proved California not to be an island. There is also a large inset of Baffin's and Hudson's Bay. The elaborate cartouche is without doubt one of the most decorative cartouches to appear on an 18th Century map of North America. The extensive annotations in the Atlantic Ocean set forth the various articles of the Paris Treaty, which settled the French & Indian War--which Seymour Schwartz notes to be the bloodiest conflict on American soil during the 18th Century.

Excellent detail throughout the map, including Indian Tribes, towns, forts, rivers, villages, mountains, lakes, trading places, portages, and a host of other important early colonial information.

This is the extremely rare second state of the map, pre-dated only by the rare separately issued edition by Bowen & Gibson in 1755. Even more unusual is that this example was originally dissected and laid on linen. We are not aware of any other surviving examples in this format.

While later editions of this map were included in atlases by Kitchin, Jefferys and Sayer & Bennett in later decades, the early states are of the utmost rarity. We are aware of only one example coming to market in the past 30 years, which was sold by the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.

Condition Description
Dissected and laid on original linen. Housed in a modern clamshell box.
Tooley 49(b).
John Gibson Biography

John Gibson flourished in London from 1748 to 1773. He was most likely born ca. 1724. As a young man he was apprenticed to John Blunbell of the Stationers Company, and then to John Pine. He was made free of the Company in 1748. Gibson proved a talented geographer and engraver who produced numerous maps, especially for books and magazines. He worked in collaboration with other map sellers such as Emanuel Bowen and John Roque. His best-known work was the pocket atlas, The Atlas Minimus (1758). Although little is known about his life beyond his publications, he was imprisoned for debt in King’s Bench from May to June of 1765.

Emanuel Bowen Biography

Emanuel Bowen (1694?-1767) was a British engraver and print seller. He was most well-known for his atlases and county maps. Although he died in poverty, he was widely acknowledged for his expertise and was appointed as mapmaker to both George II of England and Louis XV of France. His business was carried on by his son, Thomas Bowen. He also trained many apprentices, two of whom became prominent mapmakers, Thomas Kitchin and Thomas Jeffreys.