"Western Hemisphere", Tallis, John
Subject: Western Hemisphere - America
Period: 1851 (circa)
Publication: Illustrated Atlas and Modern History of the World
Color: Hand Color
13.3 x 10 inches
33.8 x 25.4 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 finely rendered hemispheric map that is among the most decorative maps produced in the 19th century. It is decorated with numerous beautiful vignettes by Warren, featuring whales, natives, and indigenous animals, all surrounded by a fancy vine-style border. The map extends to include New Zealand and the Solomon Islands in the Pacific, and the Cape Verde Islands in the Atlantic. While Texas has been colored separately, it is in fact part of the United States at this point (circa 1851). Alaska is Russian America, New California occupies all the west coast, and the coast of Antarctica is somewhat defined.
The map is overall clean and bright with some soiling and toning impacting the edge of the vignettes and blank margins. A few edge tears confined to the blank margins have been closed on verso with archival tape.