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Stock# 83565
Description

With Senex's Important Map of North America

And William Whiston's Scheme of the Solar System

An excellent composite atlas of John Senex's highly detailed large-scale engraved maps, including a fine map of North America. 

John Senex (1678-1740) was one of the foremost mapmakers in England in the early eighteenth century. He was also a surveyor, globemaker, and geographer. As a young man, he was apprenticed to Robert Clavell, a bookseller. He worked with several mapmakers over the course of his career, including Jeremiah Seller and Charles Price. In 1728, Senex was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society, a rarity for mapmakers. The Fellowship reflects his career-long association as engraver to the Society and publisher of maps by Edmund Halley, among other luminaries. He is best known for his English Atlas (1714), which remained in print until the 1760s. After his death in 1740 his widow, Mary, carried on the business until 1755. Thereafter, his stock was acquired by William Herbert and Robert Sayer (maps) and James Ferguson (globes).

Senex's Large Map of North America 

Senex's map is one of the earliest large-scale English maps of North America. The map represents a British attempt to consolidate new information about the region and borrows data from such recently published sources as Delisle's landmark Carte du Mexique et de la Floride and Carte de la Canada. Senex improves upon this work with a fine depiction of the Great Lakes region and the most accurate definition of the lower Mississippi River and its delta by an English cartographer of the period. Several of the most important and controversial cartographic discoveries of the period are discussed at length, including Lahontan's mythical Long River and the Salt Lake east of the Country of the Mozeemleck's, both of which are also depicted in remarkable (albeit fanciful) detail.

Sir William Phipps's discovery of Spanish wrecks off the coast of the Caicos and Southern Bahamas is noted. Senex also extended the map's coverage to the Canadian Arctic and the Terra Incognita above Baffin's Bay. Present-day Oklahoma and Texas are part of La Floride, considered at the time to be a possession of the French. The Red River and the Indian villages of east Texas are portrayed accurately, but Senex, following Delisle, incorrectly placed many Texas rivers, in addition to depicting some strange and unrecognizable names. Locations of Apaches, Tiguas, "Apaches Vasqueros" are noted as are a great many villages and names in New Mexico and northern Mexico.

California is shown connected to the mainland, while the Missouri River appears as it does on Delisle's map of 1703 - Wheat

One of the most remarkable large format English maps of the period, embellished with a large cartouche incorporating allegorical depictions of Native Americans, and a coat of arms.

The present state of the North America map conforms to that described by Stevens & Tree 61c, including the imprint of T. Bowles, J. Bowles & Robert Sayer, with an attributed date of publication circa 1750.

Whiston's Solar System

The Library of Congress has a similar Senex composite atlas, but without the impressive map of the solar system by William Whiston, present here.

The map illustrates the orbits of the comets known to Edmund Halley and Whiston at the beginning of the 18th Century, based upon Newton's model. Each comet is illustrated by its orbit with information about its modern appearances, distances from the sun, etc. A number of Newton's teachings are annotated within the printed image and additional information appears outside the solar hemisphere.

William Whiston was an English theologian, historian, and mathematician, who succeeded Isaac Newton as Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge. His A New Theory of the Earth from its Original to the Consummation of All Things (1696), articulated Whiston's belief that the global flood of Noah had been caused by a comet, a position which won him praise from Newton. Whiston and Halley were both advocates for the periodicity of comets, although Whiston also believed that comets were responsible for past catastrophes in earth's history.

The map was first prepared by Whiston in 1712, likely to illustrate his public lectures on Newton's astronomical teachings, and thereafter copied and modified for most of the 18th Century.

As noted by Whiston in his Memoirs (p. 191):

About the same year, 1712, I published A Scheme of the Solar System, with the orbits of 21 comets 5 in a large meet of paper, engraved on copper, by Mr. Senex. Price 2 s. 6 d. Which Scheme has been of great reputation and advantage among the curious ever since.

The present edition was issued by John Bowles, Robert Sayer and Carrington Bowles.

Here follows a list of the maps in the present atlas. All maps attributed to John Senex, unless otherwise indicated:

1. A Scheme of the Solar System with the Orbits of the Planets and Comets belonging thereto. Describ'd from Dr. Halley's accurate Table of Comets. Philosoph. Transact. No. 297. Founded on Sr. Isaac Newton's wonderful discoveries by Wm. Whiston, M.A.

2. A Map of the World Corrected from Observations communicated to the Royal Societys of London and Paris. Engraved double-hemisphere world map, dedicated by John Senex to Robert Boyle. The margins include copious texts about Isaac Newton's tides, and Dr. Halley's winds. (Nice outline color; 5-inch split along fold near Antarctic Pole; offsetting)

Henry Wagner points out that "the author [of the above map] was uncertain whether California was an island or not."

3. Europe. Corrected from Observation communicated to the Royal Society at London and the Royal Academy at Paris. (Long split along fold with left panel nearly detached, no paper loss)

4. Asia. Corrected from the Observations communicated to the Royal Society at London and the Royal Academy at Paris.

5. Africa. Corrected from the Observation of the Royal Society of London and Paris. (Some minor splits along folds, with archival tape reinforcement)

6. North America. Corrected from the Observations Communicated to the Royal Society at London and the Royal Academy at Paris. 1710.

7. South America. The companion to the North America map, similarly elaborate and detailed treatment, with allegorical cartouche, outline color, and the like.

8. A New Map of Great Britain. Outline color. (significant offsetting)

9. Ireland. Corrected from the Latest Observations. Divided into its Provinces, Counties, & Baronies Shewing the Principal Roads, and the Distances of Places in Common reputed Miles, by Inspection, Where Barracks are Erected, &c. 1712.

10. The VII United Provinces... Humbly dedicated to Elihu Yale, Esq. 1709.

11. [Part of the United Provinces] With inset: A New and Correct Map of the Ten Spanish Provinces. According to the New Observations Comunicated to the Royal Society at London and the Royal Academy at Paris. 1714.

12. A Map of the County of Flanders by William de l'Isle

13. A New Map of the Provinces of Hainault, Namur and Cambray. 1710.

14. The Provinces of Artois and the Country Adjacent. By William de l'Isle

15. France. Corrected from ye Observations made by the Royal Academy of Sciences at Paris.

16. A Map of the Provostship and Viscounty of Paris. Drawn from a great number of particular memoirs made according to the Observations of the Academy of Sciences by G. Delisle of the same Academy. Sold by I. Senex at the Globe against St. Dunstans Church in Fleetstreet, London. 1713.

17. A Correct Map of Spain & Portugal.

18. A Map of Old and New Castile. From the Observations of Rodrigo Mendes Silva and others.

19. Italy; with the Islands of Sicily, Sardinia and Corsica. By Mr. D'Anville, Geographer to the French King.

20. Germany. Corrected from the Observations of the Royal Society at London and the Royal Academy at Paris. 1710.

21.  Denmark. Corrected from the Newest Observations of the Royal Societies at London and Paris. 1710.

22.  Sweden. Corrected from the Observations, communicated to the Royal Society at London and the Royal Academy at Paris. 

23. Moscovy. Corrected from ye Observations communicated to the Royal Society of London and Paris. Tear in lower left margin, just touching neatline.

24. Poland. Corrected from the Observations communicated to the Royal Society at London and the Royal Academy at Paris.

25. Turkey in Europe. Corrected from observations communicated to the Royal Societys at London and Paris.

26. A Map of Turky Arabia & Persia. Corrected from the latest Travels and from the Observations of the Royal Societys of Londons and Paris. By G. de l'Isle.

27. Tabula Italae Antiquae in Regiones XI ab Augusto divisae et tum ad mensuras itinerarias tum ad observationes astronomicas exactae.

28.  Regionum Italiae Mediarum Tabula Geographica.

29. Theatrum Historicum ad annum Christi quadringentesimum. Six-inch tab tear affecting printed parts of the map (with archival tape repair on verso).

30. Graeciae Antiquae Tabula Nova.Graciae Pars Meridionalis.

31. Graeciae Pars Septentrionalis.

32. In Notitiam Ecclesiasticam Africae Tabula Geographica. Auctore G. De l'Isle. (7-inch tear along fold. Significant offsetting). 

Provenance:

Laid in is an invoice recording the sale of the atlas by the venerable London firm of Baynton-Williams, dated 11 Feb 1975, price: £480.00

Condition Description
Extra tall folio. 18th-century sheep, red morocco spine label. Spine and edges with fraying and wear. 3 1/2 x 2-inch section of binding leather missing from lower front cover, exposing bare boards. Corners bumped, boards exposed and curled. Hinges split, however covers holding by cords. Map of the World has offsetting from printed text, as well as some splits along some folds. Some other tears and occasional offsetting on the other maps (see listing below for details). 32 folding engraved maps. Withal, the map in very good condition, within a decent contemporary binding.
Reference
Wagner, Cartography of the Northwest Coast of America, 522. Wagner 495. Wheat, Mapping the Transmississippi West 92. Stevens & Tree 61c.
John Senex Biography

John Senex (1678-1740) was one of the foremost mapmakers in England in the early eighteenth century. He was also a surveyor, globemaker, and geographer. As a young man, he was apprenticed to Robert Clavell, a bookseller. He worked with several mapmakers over the course of his career, including Jeremiah Seller and Charles Price. In 1728, Senex was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society, a rarity for mapmakers. The Fellowship reflects his career-long association as engraver to the Society and publisher of maps by Edmund Halley, among other luminaries. He is best known for his English Atlas (1714), which remained in print until the 1760s. After his death in 1740 his widow, Mary, carried on the business until 1755. Thereafter, his stock was acquired by William Herbert and Robert Sayer (maps) and James Ferguson (globes).