The Back Room

The Back Room presents both Americana and international materials. This inventory is a selection of rare, scarce  and one of a kind materials published in the 18th, 19th and occasionally the 20th century.  The Back Room also includes 19th century American wall maps, an area of special interest.  The Back Room inventory will be updated frequently.

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This rare lithograph print is the first state, first edition of DARTMOUTH COLLEGE. printed c.1834-1835 by Nathaniel Currier in New York City where he set up his first lithography shop with a business partner named Adam Stodart in 1834 under the name Stodart & Currier.1/ Currier learned lithography when he was at age 15 apprenticed to Pendleton's Lithography in Boston, the partnership of brothers William S. Pendleton (1795-1879) and John B. Pendleton(1798-1866). Currier moved to New York City in 1834 and by some accounts worked briefly with John B.

Ensigns & Thayer's Pictorial Map of the United States 1847 was published when all eyes were on the West.1/ This scarce map is a portrait of the United States on the threshold of its complete national borders. Notably this wall map marks the date one year since the outbreak of the Mexican - American War (1846-1848) and the U.S. Congress' vote (1846) to admit the State of Texas, a slave holding state, as the newest American state.

This large collection of seventy-six (76) visually exuberant M.I.T. student life posters from 1968 to 1971 were published by the M.I.T. chapter of Alpha Phi Omega (APO) to adorn the infinite corridor and other M.I.T. campus locations, pinned to bulletin boards, walls, doors and other receptive surfaces.

Phelps & Ensign's pictorial wall map Travellers' Guide and Map of the United States 1845 represents the year in which the phrase "America's manifest destiny" first entered the national conversation to explain America's active westward expansion "to overspread the continent" and become a coast to coast nation from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. 1/ This 1845 pictorial wall map presents a large, detailed map of the United States with Texas as its western boundary and only that portion of Mexico that abuts Texas.

This lot of four (4) distinct annual  finance and banking titles (1850 in duplicate) published by the Mexican government consists of reports for the years 1830 to 1850 that are scarce, original records relevant to scholarship of Latin American finance and internal Mexican public finance that were published during  turbulent times in independent Mexico's early political and fiscal history.

This scarce map represents the United States during its ultimate westward territorial expansion and is likely the first edition of Reed & Barber's Map of the United States of America with its Territories & Districts. Including also a part of Upper & Lower Canada and Mexico. 1850. 1/ I have found no records or commentary on this edition, or any recognition that there are two different 1850 editions of Reed & Barber's map.

String bound book inside blue marbled covers with 38 pages of writing in dark ink, a young man's working notebook kept during his merchant ship voyage to the Baltic Sea consisting of: manuscript inside front cover (1), Notebook of Navigation Rules (30), Ship Dorothea's Sail list (1), Personal Diary (5), blank (1).

This distinctively inscribed example of the 1857 print Boston, is a period, colored  steel plate engraving by Charles Mottram (1807-1876), one of London's most esteemed plate engravers who has translated in the medium of engraving the large 1853 water color painting Boston by British born American artist John William Hill (1812-1879) who apprenticed as a youth with his father John Hill, an English aquatint engraver. 1/ J.W.

The Varieties Theatre of New Orleans was established by the Variété Association Theatre Club of New Orleans, a stockholder association of individuals committed to producing local theatre and who oversaw hiring a manager, building a repertory company and attending performances. This provides some context for the three broadsides and the long history and reputation of this theatre.  A series of fires and name changes, and manager changes permit us to date these New Orleans broadsides to 1867.

Native son Henry F. Walling (1825-1889), Civil Engineer is the author of the large scale, survey Map of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.1855 that reads as a cartographic gazetteer of Rhode Island at the middle of the 19th century.  Just below the map's title, a Note also explains the collaborations and 19th c. history of the survey work required to prepare this Rhode Island statewide map. Walling relied upon work from 19th c.

This 17th century map of the Sommer Islands, engraved in Amsterdam and importantly published in England "to be sold by George Humble in Pops-head Alley" is the early, rare edition that lists the names of the island's original English settlers and shows their houses, a castle, a church and other buildings throughout the settled lots. A miniature image of the Bermuda islands appears below the map title block where the title and accompanying text is written in both English and Latin.

Printed for the London Magazine, this 18th c. map of the English Province of Pensilvania shows the Province  when "The Northern Boundary of Pensilvania is not yet settled" and regions belonging to Native Americans are identified, such as the Delawares, Nanticokes and Tuteloes.  English towns are located on the map indicated by a circle. The engraver's "Explanation" only has a symbol for Indian Towns, Roads and Trading Paths. Provincial boundaries are drawn with dotted lines.

            This scarce 18th century map, A Map of Virginia and Maryland, 1756, was published in London in at least two editions, of which this is the first. It appeared in a book titled A Compendium of Authentic and Entertaining Voyages, vol. 3, p. 125 and is based on an earlier map by Fry & Jefferson of 1753.  Geographic features graphically dominate the map, with the "Blue Ridge Peaks" shown in relief graphically along with the Allagany Mountains.

      This rare color engraving by Filippo Morghens (b. 1730) of the Bay of Naples, plate number 38 as printed in the top right corner of the map, is one of a series of views of the Kingdom of Naples by Morghens that was created in his Naples studio in 1772.  Morghens' name appears in the lower right corner of the map. An elaborate decorative cartouche distinguishes the artful map with a figure on one shield, heraldic symbols on the other and a Neapolitan Mastiff in the scene, flanked by an ancient stone pillar bearing Egyptian symbols.

This  book is the rare 1781 first edition of The Constitutions of the Several Independent States of America that by Order of Congress dated December 29, 1780 1./ was printed in a limited edition of 200 by Francis Bailey 2./ of Philadelphia as government printer.3./ The book format is new to 18th c. American publishing 4./ this being the first use of a compendium format. The subject matter itself is exceptional, the first publication in book form of the founding documents of the United States of America.

Our distinctive copy of The Constitutions of the Several Independent States 1785  was owned by Baptist Pastor Hezekiah Smith (1737-1805), of the First Baptist Church of Haverhill, Massachusetts (1765-1805) whose American, 18th c. engraved armorial bookplate x/  is attached to the inside front cover. Hezekiah Smith also signs and dates his name in script "Hezekiah Smith's 1785". The book's front first free endpaper is signed "Rebecca Smith's 1805" and she is Hezekiah Smith's daughter (b.

Publisher Robert Sayer's 1786  "A New Map of North America" by Thomas Pownall is "New" because it illustrates the newly established United States of America according to the terms of the Preliminary Articles of Peace of January 20, 1783, that six months later are finalized by the final Peace Treaty of 1783 that concluded America's Revolutionary War with Great Britain./1  This scarce map presents on two 48" engraved map sheets the political paradigm shift of the American Revolution and the newly agreed upon territorial relationships in North America between the governments of the United Stat

The engraver of Jeremiah Dobbs' 1794 New York Cooper's Society Membership Certificate engraves his name "Rollinson Delt. et Sct." This signature compares with William Rollinson's signature on documented American works in 1791, 1792 and 1796.