Auction 165, Lot 761

An Unusual Atlas with Dark Clouds Covering the Unknown Parts of the World

"An Historical Atlas; in a Series of Maps of the World as Known at Different Periods...",

Subject: Atlases

Period: 1830 (published)


Color: Hand Color

13 x 16.3 inches
33 x 41.4 cm

A very unusual atlas that covers 21 historical periods from "The Deluge" (2348 BC) until the "General Peace" (1828). Each period is represented by a map on the same scale, with areas that were unknown at that time covered in a layer of dark clouds. Over time, as knowledge of the world increased, the dark clouds on the maps get pushed further and further out until there are no more clouds (the 20th period or 1811). Each map is accompanied by related text. The first fifteen periods are represented by single-page maps (11 x 12.5") and the last six are larger, folding maps (18.7 x 12.5"). A sampling of the periods include: "At the Exodus of the Israelites", "Rise of the Roman Empire", "Dissolution of the Western Empire", "The Tartar Empire of Jenghis Khan", "The Discovery of America", and "The Empire of Napoleon Bonaparte." The maps were engraved by Sidney Hall, and the text was composed by Edward Quin. Printed by L.B. Seeley and Sons in Surrey. Folio, hardbound in quarter leather and tips over marbled boards with paper title label on front cover.


Condition: A

Condition code is for the maps, which are nice crisp impressions with vivid colors. The text is clean with the exception of some color offsetting from the opposing maps. The binding has nearly perished and the boards have separated. Given the favorable condition of the maps, this would be an excellent candidate for professional rebinding.

Estimate: $2,000 - $2,500

Sold for: $1,500

Closed on 11/15/2017