Catalog Archive
Auction 179, Lot 376

"[Lot of 2] West India Islands [and] Jamaica ", Tallis, John

Subject: Caribbean, Jamaica

Period: 1850 (circa)

Publication: Illustrated Atlas and Modern History of the World

Color: Hand Color

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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. West India Islands (13.0 x 10.1"). This very handsome chart of the Caribbean extends from the Bahamas through the Caribbean Islands and Trinidad to Columbia. The vignettes are beautifully engraved by J. Rogers after the art of H. Warren. The predominate vignette is "Kingston, Jamaica from the Commercial Rooms," plus a view of clipper ships anchored offshore, a small engraving of a native couple, and a coin. The vignettes and borders are uncolored, as issued. Condition: Contemporary outline color with a light damp stain at bottom left, a few small holes that have been backed with tape, and light toning primarily confined to the sheet's edges.

B. Jamaica (13.8 x 10.2"). This attractive chart of the island includes good detail with the names of many villages and coastal features. It is sectioned into about 20 Administrative Divisions. The divisions of St. Dorothy, St. John, St. Thomas, Port Royal, and St. Davids have been absorbed by the 14 divisions we see today. The map features decorative borders and five large and nicely rendered vignettes, which include Port Royal Harbor, Kingston, Port Antonio, a sugar mill, and a flying fish. The vignettes were drawn by H. Winkles and engraved by W. Lacey, the map drawn and engraved by J. Rapkin. Condition: Contemporary outline color with light toning along the centerfold and sheet edges.


Condition: B+

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Estimate: $160 - $190

Sold for: $120

Closed on 9/16/2020