New York

California as an island, farms in NYC: Historic maps, atlases for sale at Manhattan auction

  • This photo provided courtesy of Swann Auction Galleries shows a German map produced in the mid-16th century that is among the historic maps and atlases for sale Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015, at Swann’s Auction Galleries in New York City. Experts say the map is considered the earliest to depict all of America and to name the Pacific Ocean, labeled on the map in its Latin name: “Mare pacificum.” (Courtesy of Swann Auction Galleries via AP)

    This photo provided courtesy of Swann Auction Galleries shows a German map produced in the mid-16th century that is among the historic maps and atlases for sale Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015, at Swann’s Auction Galleries in New York City. Experts say the map is considered the earliest to depict all of America and to name the Pacific Ocean, labeled on the map in its Latin name: “Mare pacificum.” (Courtesy of Swann Auction Galleries via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • This photo provided courtesy of Swann Auction Galleries shows an Italian map made in 1688 that is among the historic maps and atlases up for sale Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015, at Swann Auction Galleries in New York City. The map depicts California as an island. (Courtesy of Swann Auction Galleries via AP)

    This photo provided courtesy of Swann Auction Galleries shows an Italian map made in 1688 that is among the historic maps and atlases up for sale Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015, at Swann Auction Galleries in New York City. The map depicts California as an island. (Courtesy of Swann Auction Galleries via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • This photo provided courtesy of Swann Auction Galleries shows a map of the lower half of Manhattan island and surrounding area, included in a British atlas printed during the Revolutionary War, and is among the historic maps and atlases up for sale Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015, at Swann Auction Galleries in New York City. (Courtesy of Swann Auction Galleries via AP)

    This photo provided courtesy of Swann Auction Galleries shows a map of the lower half of Manhattan island and surrounding area, included in a British atlas printed during the Revolutionary War, and is among the historic maps and atlases up for sale Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015, at Swann Auction Galleries in New York City. (Courtesy of Swann Auction Galleries via AP)  (The Associated Press)

Historic maps and atlases showing some of the earliest efforts to chart North America's coastline and interior are being auctioned in New York City.

Swann Auction Galleries in Manhattan is putting scores of maps up for sale beginning Tuesday. Among them are several dating to the 16th century depicting California as an island separate from the North American continent.

The highlight is a rare Revolutionary War-era atlas published by the geographer to England's King George III. The atlas includes maps of British military campaigns and a 1777 plan of New York City showing much of the settlement clustered at Manhattan's southern tip and farmland covering the rest of the island.