"British America", Tallis, John
Subject: Canada and Alaska
Period: 1860 (circa)
Publication: Illustrated Atlas and Modern History of the World
Color: Hand Color
13 x 10 inches
33 x 25.4 cm
The maps from The Illustrated Atlas were first published in serial form to a target audience that led insular lives due to the expense and hardship of travel. All that changed as the progress of the nineteenth century brought swift and dramatic changes in public awareness of far away places. Tallis' maps no doubt played an important role in this dramatic awakening. These maps not only provided up-to-date geographical knowledge, but also used vignette views within the map's design to show the native people and their occupations, cities and points of interest. The maps hark back to a cartographic tradition from the Dutch mapmakers of the seventeenth century with finely engraved decorative borders. The maps were drawn and engraved by John Rapin with views drawn and engraved by a number of prominent artists. The maps were issued as a complete volume from 1851 until about 1865. Some of the maps were also published in other history books published by Tallis including British Colonies and, without the vignettes, in geographical dictionaries and encyclopedias until about 1880.
This fine, decorative map is surrounded in a delicately engraved border and further embellished with six vignettes. The area mapped extends to show all of today's Canada and Alaska, here called Russian America. In Canada, at least 23 provinces are delineated through outline coloring. Dots indicate the numerous forts and principal stations of the Hudson's Bay Company. This edition includes a bird's-eye view of Montreal, a seal, whale fishing, Esquimaux, polar bears, and a nautical scene showing the ships Fury and Hecla from the 1822 Arctic expedition led by William Edward Parry. The vignettes were designed by H. Warren and engraved by R. Wallis; the map is drawn and engraved by J. Rapkin.
There is a little light marginal soiling. Tallis imprint and extreme bottom edge of paper has surface lifted off from binding paste, not affecting map or border. Nice impression and original outline coloring.