Catalog Archive
Auction 130, Lot 127

"[Lot of 2] West Canada [and] East Canada, and New Brunswick.", Tallis, John

Subject: Canada

Period: 1850 (circa)

Publication: The Illustrated Atlas

Color: Hand Color

12.8 x 9.8 inches
32.5 x 24.9 cm
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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 Rapkin 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 lot includes two maps showing all of what was then called East and West Canada. Both decorative maps are surrounded by fancy engraved borders and beautifully engraved vignettes including the national seal. The map of West Canada covers the region of present-day Ontario and includes vignettes of Niagara Falls, an Indian council, Kingston and a river otter. The map of East Canada covers the St. Lawrence River and New Brunswick. There are two large and finely engraved vignettes: a group of North American Indians, and a lovely view of Quebec on the hill with numerous sailing ships and boats in the foreground. Two smaller vignettes are a river otter entwined in both sides of the border.


Condition: B+

The west sheet is very good (A) with uncolored vignettes, as issued. The east sheet has a single small wormhole in the shield at lower right and is toned along centerfold (B). With hand colored vignettes.

Estimate: $180 - $220

Sold for: $140

Closed on 12/2/2009