Catalog Archive
Auction 145, Lot 844

"[25 Volumes] The Universal Pronouncing Dictionary, and General Expositor of the English Language", Tallis, John

Subject: Atlases

Period: 1851 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

7.8 x 11.4 inches
19.8 x 29 cm
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This impressive dictionary by Thomas Wright consists of 4,815 pages divided into 25 volumes. Each volume contains several maps and illustrative plates that, when combined together, forms a complete atlas of the world. The 81 maps present in this example are very similar to those found in Tallis’ Illustrated Atlas of the World (excluding the world maps and the comparative view charts), and have the same distinctive features and style including numerous vignettes and original outline color.

Of particular interest is the map of the United States, which shows early western territorial configurations including a large Western Territory in present-day Oklahoma and Kansas, as well as New Mexico Territory. Curiously, despite the United States' acquisition of California in 1848, New Mexico Territory is shown only as far west as the Rio Grande. Meanwhile, the map of Mexico, California and Texas has been re-engraved to include a vignette of gold panning and the gold regions of California are delineated on the map, although the political divisions still show the region completely within Mexican control and Texas is shown to include much of present-day New Mexico. In addition to the maps of North America, there are several interesting engravings of Australia including Western Australia, Swan River, Part of South Australia (showing the mining districts), and New Zealand.

In addition to the maps, there is a frontispiece, 13 views and 56 plates including numerous portraits of historical figures including Captain Cook, Sir Isaac Newton, John Locke, and Oliver Cromwell to name a few. Quarto, hardbound in gilt stamped green cloth with gilt title on spine.

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Condition: B+

Condition code is for the maps which are generally good to very good with light toning, occasional damp stains and minor soiling. There is scattered foxing on the plates, the covers are bumped and worn, and the spine is sunned. The front cover is completely separated from the first volume and nearly separated from one other volume (#24).

Estimate: $5,000 - $7,000

Sold for: $3,250

Closed on 6/12/2013