Auction 126, Lot 788

"Polynesia, or Islands in the Pacific Ocean", Tallis, John

Subject: South Pacific Ocean

Period: 1851 (circa)

Publication: Illustrated Atlas and Modern History of the World

Color: Hand Color

13.5 x 10 inches
34.3 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 very detailed map covers Oceania from the east coast of Australia to California. Scores of islands, the Society, Friendly, New Hebrides, Caroline, and Sandwich island groups are located, including tiny islands and shoals. A delicately engraved border surrounds the area and vignettes of Kalakakooa - Sandwich Islands; Otaheiti; Harbour of Dory - New Guinea; and Resolution Bay - Marguesas. The Baja Peninsula is Old California. The vignettes and border are nicely colored in an under-stated hand which compliments the subtle original coloring in the body of the map.


Condition: A

Very nice example with fine coloring and delicate impression. The margins are quite generous for a Tallis issue.

Estimate: $140 - $180

Sold for: $130

Closed on 12/3/2008