Auction 126, Lot 111

"[Lot of 2] British America [and] East Canada, and New Brunswick", Tallis, John

Subject: Canada

Period: 1860 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

12.5 x 9.5 inches
31.8 x 24.1 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.

The first is a lovely map 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 birds-eye view of Montreal, a seal, a whaling scene, Esquimaux, polar bears, and a nautical scene showing the ships Fury and Hecla. The second map covers the St. Lawrence River and New Brunswick, includes Montreal and Quebec. A great vignette depicts Quebec as seen from the river with numerous sailing ships and boats in the foreground and the cliffs and settlement high above the cliffs. In a second vignette, a group of North American Indians hold a war council. Further embellished with a decorative border with a bison and an otter.



The first has a bit of light foxing (B). The second has a couple of extraneous folds with some short separations, some closed with framer's tape on verso (C+).

Estimate: $200 - $250

Sold for: $150

Closed on 12/3/2008