Catalog Archive
Auction 176, Lot 118

"United States", Tallis, John

Subject: Eastern United States

Period: 1850 (circa)

Publication: Illustrated Atlas and Modern History of the World

Color: Hand Color

13.4 x 9.7 inches
34 x 24.6 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 lovely version of this map of the eastern states with the new state of Texas shown. Its panhandle extends to the Arkansas River and includes Santa Fe and Taos. Wisconsin and Iowa are shown with amorphous boundaries, and Indian Territory is not named. Precisely engraved to show a surprising amount of detail for a map of this size. Surrounded by a decorative border that incorporates portraits of Washington and Franklin in circular elements. Also with vignettes showing the Capitol, a buffalo hunt, Penn's treaty with the Indians, and Washington's Monument, which includes a statue at the top that was planned, but never installed. Further embellished by the Excelsior seals and the U.S. shield.


Condition: A

Original outline color with a couple vertical manuscript lines in pencil and a faint damp stain in the top blank margin.

Estimate: $240 - $300

Sold for: $210

Closed on 2/12/2020