Catalog Archive
Auction 138, Lot 855

"Van Diemen's Island or Tasmania", Tallis, John

Subject: Tasmania

Period: 1851 (circa)

Publication: Illustrated Atlas and Modern History of the World

Color: Hand Color

10 x 13.5 inches
25.4 x 34.3 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 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 decorative steel-engraved map of the island with good detail of cities, rivers, boundaries, and topography. The map features three well-rendered vignettes: Hobart Town, a Tasmanian Tiger (Thylacinus Cynocephalus), and the Residence of the V.D.L. Company's Agent, Circular Head. The V.D.L. (Van Diemen’s Land) Company was a large landholder in the north west corner of Tasmania. Surrounded by a delicately engraved decorative border. Borders and vignettes uncolored, as issued.


Condition: A+

Original outline color with light toning in wide blank margins.

Estimate: $160 - $200

Sold for: $120

Closed on 12/7/2011