Folio, (17 3/8 x 14 ½ inches). Vignette title page (toned with one or two spots). Hand-colored lithographed frontispiece “Heights of the Principal Mountains in the World” and “Lengths of the Principal Rivers in the World” (Plate 73), 72 fine lithographed maps with original hand-color in full (lower corner of Plate 14 torn away, occasional spotting and browning). Original publisher’s half red roan, marbled boards, lettered in gilt (hinges cracked but holding, overall quite worn with loss).
Provenance: Contemporary pen trials to recto of front free endpaper.
First published by Mitchell in 1846 after having acquired the rights to Henry Schenk Tanner’s “New Universal Atlas” from Carey & Hart who had published editions in 1843 and 1844. However Mitchell changed many of the maps, changed the copperplates to lithography, and then issued the atlas at least once a year until 1850, when he sold the rights to Thomas, Cowperthwait & Company. Thereafter the rights were bought and sold several times, with the atlas being published until at least 1860.
“Many maps bear the imprint of S. Augustus Mitchell, and the copyright notice of H. N. Burroughs, or of H. S. Tanner. This atlas is a reissue of Tanner’s New Universal Atlas which continued to be published for some years as Mitchell’s New Universal Atlas, without reference to Tanner. Includes a map of Oregon and Upper California not called for in the table of contents. [Plate] No. 72, Lengths of the principal rivers in the world [and] Heights of the principal mountains...is bound as [the] frontispiece. The engraved title page has a vignette, ‘First landing of Columbus in the New World.’” Phillips Atlases 797.
This copy differs from Phillips’s in the following issue points: the map of Oregon and Upper California is in fact listed in the Table of Contents as Plate 36; however, the plate itself is unnumbered and the numbering of the subsequent plates is off by one with respect to the Table of Contents. Here, the frontispiece showing the heights of the world’s mountains and the lengths of the world’s rivers is numbered 73, rather than 72. Title page bears the 1844 copyright notice of Carey & Hart, but most maps bear that of H. N. Burroughs.