Miniature maps of Carolina

Muller map of Carolinas

The old axiom, “good things come in small packages”, certainly holds true in maps. There are some miniature maps of Carolina that are adorable. Let’s take a look at a few maps of the Carolinas that measure no more than four inches.

Muller map of Carolinas
1692 [1702] untitled map of the Carolinas, actual size 6.3 x 7.7 cm.
The tiny map shown above was first published in Ulm in 1692 by Johann Müller in Kurtz-Bundige Abbild-Und Vorstellung Der Gantzen Welt. The example above, with V.C. at top center (instead of V.) is from Müller’s 1702 Neu-Aussgefertigter Kleiner Atlas, also published in Ulm. The topography is outdated, showing “N. Amsterdam” instead of New York, and “N. Suecia” (New Sweden) instead of Pennsylvania.


1719 map of Carolina by Chatelain, actual size 5.5 x 7.3 cm.
1719 map of Carolina by Chatelain, actual size 5.5 x 7.3 cm.

Perhaps the tiniest published map of the Carolinas, Nouvelle Carte de la Caroline was published in volume VI of Atlas Historique, Ou Nouvelle Introduction A L’Histoire … in Amsterdam. The  Atlas Historique was published in seven volumes between 1705 and 1720, under several different Chatelain imprints, depending on the Chatelain family partnerships at the time of publication (Zacharie Sr, Henri, and Zacharie Jr). Several geographic features on this miniscule map are derived from John Lederer’s 1672 map, including the “Savana” at the base of the Appalachian Mountains, and Lederer’s “Desert Arenosa” in the Sandhills (depicted but unlabeled on Chatelain’s map). This tiny map is one of eight that were printed on a single folio sheet; the sheet was titled Carte qui contient une description des iles & terres que les anglois possedent dans l’Amerique septentrionale, et en particulier de la Jamaique.



Miniature maps - 1758 Gibson map of Carolina & Georgia
1758 map of Carolina & Georgia by Gibson, actual size 6.1 x 9.4 cm, courtesy of David Rumsey Collection.

Carolina and Georgia was first published by J. Gibson in Atlas Minimus, London, 1758. A superb publication history of this tiny atlas (1758-1807), including use of its plates for a deck of playing cards, was written by Geoffrey L. King, and is available on line here. If you prefer his printed book, Antique Miniature Maps, the best price by far is from Steve Luck at Tooley Adams & Co. Scroll down to RB51 on this page of reference books, or send Steve an email: .


Honorable mention, measuring slightly greater than 4 inches:

Miniature maps - 1675 Carolina
1675 Carolina – actual size 8.4 x 12.4 cm. Image courtesy of the North Carolina Collection, UNC-CH.

Carolina is commonly credited to John Speed, though he had been dead nearly 50 years before this map was engraved. The map was published by Thomas Bassett and Richard Chiswell in An epitome of Mr. John Speed’s Theatre of the empire of Great Britain, and of his Prospect of the most famous parts of the world . . . . The Prospect, containing the map of Carolina, has a 1675 dated title page. However, the Prospect is never found separately; it is always bound with the 1676 epitome…Theatre.

Do you have a favorite miniature map? Let us know via the “What’s on your mind?” comment box below.


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