c 1853 Title Page & Table of Contents for Cowperthwait Atlas


Title page for “NEW UNIVERSAL ATLAS O F THE WORLD…” . Philadelphia: Thomas, Cowperthwait & Co. Published, and dated 1853.  Chromolithograph with original color. Also included is the Table of Contents, printed in red and gold, for the atlas.The backs of each page are blank. (sheet size:  17 x 13’’ ) 

The title page contains a large colorful chromolithograph depicting the “THE FIRST LANDING OF COLUMBUS IN THE NEW WORLD”. The text is printed in red, black and blue.  The Table of Contents is surrounded by a colorful chromolithograph border of acanthus leaves in red and gold.

“An integral part of map collecting is the study of frontispieces and title pages of atlases.  They are usually very elaborate affairs, engraved by the finest craftsmen available, not only announcing the title of the volume, but enticing the viewer to look further into the pages...” (R. B. Williams; Investing in Maps; p.147-9).  “It is important that what was once the first and most important display leaf in a valuable work should be treasured…” (Rodney W. Shirley, The Map Collector, #46 p. 17).

This is one of the most colorful and elaborate title pages from any 19th century American atlas. It is one of only two American atlas title pages pictured and described in Shirley's 2009 landmark book on collecting title pages: "Courtiers and Cannibals, Angels and Amazons" - page 246-247. 

These are originals, over 150 years old, not reproductions, and in nice condition as shown in the photos.  Some light toning and offsetting is apparent. 

Shipped unmatted

  • Inventory# M-14332