Catalog Archive
Auction 142, Lot 45

"[Lot of 2] Western Hemisphere [and] Eastern Hemisphere", Tallis, John

Subject: World

Period: 1851 (circa)

Publication: Illustrated Atlas and Modern History of the World

Color: Hand Color

13 x 9.5 inches
33 x 24.1 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.

A lovely pair of finely rendered hemispheric maps that are some of the most decorative maps produced in the 19th Century. Both maps were engraved by J. Rapkin and show a circular hemisphere completely surrounded by vignettes drawn by H. Warren, featuring whales, natives, and indigenous animals, with a fancy vine-style border.

The western map extends to include New Zealand and the Solomon Islands in the Pacific, and the Cape Verde Islands in the Atlantic. Alaska is Russian America, New California occupies all the west coast with the Baja called California, and the coast of Antarctica is partially defined.

The eastern map includes major cities, topography and watershed. The "Mail Route" for the British Empire is shown and identified in a key near the South Pole; it extends from Britain through the Mediterranean Sea, over land to the Red Sea, across the Arabian Sea to Calcutta, through the East Indies and around Australia with stops in Perth, Adelaide, Hobart (Tasmania) and Sydney.


Condition: A

There are a few unobtrusive spots and minor soiling in the blank margins.

Estimate: $400 - $500

Sold for: $425

Closed on 11/28/2012