Auction 145, Lot 91

"[Lot of 2] North America [and] South America", Tallis, John

Subject: Western Hemisphere - America

Period: 1851 (circa)

Publication: Illustrated Atlas and Modern History of the World

Color: Hand Color

9.6 x 14 inches
24.4 x 35.6 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 Rapin 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. North America. This attractive map of North America is filled with forts and locates many Indian tribes. Texas is shown in a curious configuration without a panhandle, Western Territory takes up much of present-day Kansas and Oklahoma, and New Mexico is shown as a tiny strip of land above Texas. The vignettes include an Ancient Monument in Mexico, Convoy of Diamonds, Falls of Niagara, Beavers, Elk, and North American Indians. Across the top are Russian Cossacks (representing the Russian Possessions in Alaska), an Eskimo dog sled and Mount Hekla, Iceland.

B. South America. This is a very lovely and well-engraved map of South America. It is filled with detail, including rivers, lakes, towns and villages and many place names along the coast. The continent is surrounded by eight vignettes and a decorative border and title cartouche. The vignettes shows gold mining in Brazil, condors and llamas of Peru, natives of Chili, Valparaiso, and a view of Rio de Janeiro.

The vignettes surrounding these decorative maps were drawn by J. Marchant and engraved by J. Rogers. The maps were drawn and engraved by John Rapkin.


Condition: B+

Original outline color with a few minor spots and light soiling confined to the blank margins.

Estimate: $350 - $425

Sold for: $200

Closed on 6/12/2013