|By Eric C. Rodenberg
LLANO, Texas — A full overview of the Lone Star State – complemented by some of the earliest recordings of history in the American West and Mexico – will be up for auction at Dorothy Sloan-Rare Books auction on April 4-5.
Astounding maps, manuscripts and books will be up for sale with a decided emphasis on Texas, Mexico, California, the Trans-Mississippi West and the Borderlands.
Headlining the sale will be an outstanding Texas map of Stephen F. Austin done in the pivotal year 1836, and Jacob De Cordova’s grand map of Texas from 1849 (considered to be one of the Fifty Texas Rarities), the first official map of Texas and signed by De Cordova.
Notably, the auction will include several dozen pocket maps, a cartographical genre dating back into the 19th century.
“Pocket maps were maps that the publisher folded into small leather or cloth folders, for ease in travelling,” according to Sloan. “Because of the rigor of travel, they tend to be rare and ephemeral.”
Among the most unusual maps in the auction is a grand (5 foot by 6 foot) elegant map of Mexico City in 1807.
“It is the most unusual map of Mexico City ever printed,” Sloan said, “the largest engraving up to that time created in Mexico.”
Also interesting is an 1849 manuscript map of the California Gold District by a Forty-Niner miner.
Sloan, who studied under supervision of the Pulitzer Prize-winning author William H. Goetzmann, and who worked with one of the top rare book dealers in the world, Warren R. Howell, has operated Dorothy Sloan-Rare Books since 1984. As a licensed auctioneer and appraiser, she conducts a blockbuster auction every few years, duly noted on calendars by serious book, manuscript and map collectors.
This auction, simply entitled “Auction 23 (Auction 22 was in December 2009), will offer a voluminous original archive on the legendary Texas Confederate unit, Terry’s Texas Rangers (the 8th Texas Cavalry).
The archive – the largest in private hands – comes with a direct descent provenance from the family of Major Benjamin Francis Weems, the unit’s Adjutant General. Included in the archive is Major Weems’ 1851 Navy Colt .36-caliber revolver with an engraved Texas Navy naval battle scene on the cylinder.
The Confederate Texas Rangers delivered what is thought to have been the last cavalry charge at Bentonville (1865), but were inexorably rolled up with the rest of Gen. Johnston’s force by Gen. Sherman’s advance into North Carolina during the latter stages of the Civil War.
After Johnston surrendered, the Rangers – although present – never formally surrendered. Instead, slipping through Union lines, many of the Rangers made their way back west where some of them ended up in E. Kirby Smith’s Army of the Trans-Mississippi West.
Historians and collectors will also have the opportunity to enrich their lives with landmark works on Mesoamerican offerings at Sloan’s auction. Foremost is the Kingsborough’s monumental Antiquities of Mexico (London, 1831-1848, the Havell issue in color) with 741 plates primarily of Mesoamerican codices. In nine large folio volumes the collection weighs in at more than 200 pounds.
Previews of the lots will be on exhibit the two days prior to sale.
Contact: (512) 477-8442