Catalog Archive
Auction 145, Lot 336

"[Lot of 2] Central America [and] Isthmus of Panama", Tallis, John

Subject: Central America

Period: 1850 (circa)

Publication: Illustrated Atlas and Modern History of the World

Color: Hand Color

12.8 x 10 inches
32.5 x 25.4 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. Central America. This map features three beautifully rendered vignettes: Volcano of Isalco, Great Square of the Antiqua, Guatemala, and Belize. The map extends from Mexico to Costa Rica and includes the proposed route for a rail and canal system between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

B. Isthmus of Panama. Lovely map of the region from Nicaragua through Panama. There are five proposed canals and roads shown; three in Panama and two in Nicaragua. The map is ornamented with two steel-engraved vignettes: The Fort at Chagres and Gold Seekers on their way over the Cordilleras.


Condition: A

Original color with pleasant, light even-age toning.

Estimate: $180 - $220

Sold for: $170

Closed on 6/12/2013