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Map, Pennsylvania, Anthony Finley, Antique Wall Map, Philadelphia, 1829


Anthony Finley, Philadelphia: 1829
Hand-colored engraved wall map on canvas, varnished, on rollers
16.5 x 21.25 inches, overall, map excluding rollers
26 inches, longest roller

Diminutive wall map of typical form, on rollers as issued. The map shows counties in shades of yellow, pink, and green. Other geographic entities include rivers, townships and cities. Mountain ranges are rendered with shaded illustrations that stop at the state line. Below the title, lower center, is a mileage scale and an “Explanation” key with different styles of lines representing existing canals, proposed canals, railroads, proposed railroads, turnpike roads and common roads. (The key uses the abbreviation “Do.” to mean “ditto.”) Longitude and latitude lines are included, and are numbered in the map border. The map has the same cartography as one published by Finley as part of New General Atlas, and resembles the 1831 edition on the web site of David Rumsey (see References below).

Anthony Finley was among the greatest American map makers of the Federal period, publishing maps in Philadelphia rather than selling imported ones. In addition to his New General Atlas, published in various editions from 1824 and later, Finley published pocket maps for travelers and wall maps for school use. He often collaborated with the renowned cartographers and engravers of the Philadelphia area such as J.H. Young and Henry S. Tanner.

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Scholar Walter Ristow describes Finley as follows:

“Little is known about his background, but he was probably born around 1790. Judging from contributors to his atlases, he apparently moved in the same Philadelphia circles of engravers and compilers as other contemporary publishers. Finley also borrowed freely from European sources in compiling his atlas.”

Ristow quotes a review of Finley’s New General Atlas in the July 1824 issue of the North American Review:

“[T]he number of elegant maps and atlases which have come from the press within a short time in the United States, is a most flattering proof of increased attention of the community to the important study of geography. The present work contains sixty maps, about half of which are devoted to the American continent, and the remained to other parts of the world, chiefly to Europe. The engraving is done almost uniformly with remarkable distinctness and the face of the maps is frequently beautiful, not overloaded with a confusion of useless names.”

Full publication information, lower center margin: Philad’a. Published by A. Finley, 1829.

Condition:  Generally fine with the usual overall light toning, soft creases, and wear. Some light abrasions to original varnish, the colors bright.


“Pennsylvania.” David Rumsey Historical Map Collection. (6 February 2018).

Ristow, Walter W. American Maps & Mapmakers: Commercial Cartography in the 19th Century. Detroit, MI: Wayne State University Press, 1985. pp. 268-269.

Additional information


19th Century