Jon Berg Fine Art
Map of South America 19th century drawn by American school girl

Map of South America 19th century drawn by American school girl

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Directory: Traditional Collectibles: Ephemera: Maps: Pre 1900: Item # 1415348

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2311 Schader Dr. #310
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Found in New Hampshire, this is a beautifully and meticulously drawn map of the South American continent, from the Isthmus of Panama to Cape Horn, signed at lower right one "Rosa W. Miner" (or, "Mines"). The work, which measures 13" by 10" in a simple earlier 20th century frame, is drawn in pencil, with watercolor forming the borders of the various countries. Evidently, at some point, educators supplied the school children with pre-printed blanks, so that there would be no need to draw the latitude and longitude boundaries and numbers by hand; those boundaries and numbers and the "MAP OF SOUTH AMERICA/DRAWN BY" box are printed. Only the continent is hand drawn. Earlier in the nineteenth century, school children would draw everything by hand, so, in this case, there is kind of a "head start". I would guess this might date to about 1863, as, according to my internet research, the Argentine Confederation dates to 1831-1861, and the United States of Colombia came into being in 1863. Schoolchildren-made maps are very collectible and interesting as folk art, and they speak of a time, now sadly lost, when geography was actively taught to children in school. This drawing features amazing detail. Major cities like Buenos Aires, Santiago, Rio de Janeiro, and Quito are named, along with rivers such as the Amazon and Orinoco, and even more quirky additions such as "Dimond District" (Brazil) or "Gold Region" (Brazil). The fine nearly parallel outlines of the shorelines and offshore islands are phenomenal; there's no telling how long it might have taken to make such detail. The map is in good condition considering the age, with paper discoloration, some small holes in the margin at top, and edges creases and short tears; but the image area is in good condition.