SCULL, NICHOLAS Map of the improved Part of the Province of Pennsylvania.
Philadelphia: Engraved by Jas. Turner and Printed by John Davis for the Author; Published & Sold by the Author, Nicholas Scull, 1 January 1759. The first state (before the addition of text at Nelson's Ferry and a road from Carlisle to Pine Ford). Large copperplate engraved map on six separate sheets, with a fine cartouche with dedication to the Penn brothers, when joined the sheets form an image approximately 30 x 60 inches (76 x 152 cm), each sheet approximately 16 x 21 inches (40.5 x 53 cm); the sheets housed in a fine full red morocco clamshell case with gilt lettered spine. In very fine original condition and apparently never joined or colored, a few short marginal tears repaired, a few spots and light toning towards edges, a desirable copy.
A very attractive and unsophisticated copy of "the first large scale map of Pennsylvania and one of the most important eighteenth-century maps engraved in what is now the United States" (Streeter). Surveyor and cartographer Nicholas Scull (1700-1762) was the son of a mapmaker of the same name and is known to have been a member of Benjamin Franklin's Junto. Scull is also believed to have been able to speak the local Delaware Indian language. Scull undertook his ambitious survey at the time of the French & Indian War, when there was little settlement in western Pennsylvania, and the map is a wealth of known information on towns, Native American trails and much else. Wroth noted that this is "The first map of Pennsylvania to be published in America [and] the most ambitious cartographical work to come from an American source before the Revolution." The map is the largest printed in America in the 18th century. The map is held by only about a dozen institutions and is infrequently offered at auction. Evans 8489; Streeter sale 2:965; Wheat & Brun 423; Sellers & Van Ee 1294; Phillips, p. 673.
C Private Collection of Barbara and Ira Lipman
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