Catalog Archive
Auction 184, Lot 798

Stunning Thematic Atlas with 35 Large Maps

"The Physical Atlas of Natural Phenomena", Johnston, Alexander K.

Subject: Atlases, Geology

Period: 1856 (published)


Color: Printed Color

15.5 x 22.5 inches
39.4 x 57.2 cm
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This is a magnificent example of the enlarged second edition of the Physical Atlas of Natural Phenomena containing 35 double-page maps (the first edition produced in 1848 contained 30 maps). This is the English version of Heinrich Berghaus' Physikalischer Atlas, the first truly comprehensive thematic atlas. It is a very early example of printed color, the development of which made a huge impact on cartography in general and specifically on the graphic portrayal of geographical data on thematic maps. Complete with 137 pages of text, 35 double-page plates and 7 text plates. The atlas is packed with information on a host of topics including geology, hydrography, meteorology, botany, natural history and ethnology. The 35 double-page plates include 11 on geology, 6 on hydrology, 6 on meteorology, 2 botanical plates, 6 on zoology and 4 on ethnology. Among the noteworthy maps are Geological and Paleontological Map of the British Islands by Edward Forbes, a Geological Map of the United States and British North America by H.D. Rogers and a Geological Map of Europe by R.I. Murchison and James Nicol. Rebacked in quarter black leather with original boards and gilt title on the front cover. All edges gilt (A.E.G.).

***Extra shipping charges will apply outside of the United States due to its size and weight***


Condition: A

Condition code is for the maps, which are near fine with just a hint of toning and occasional offsetting. Plate 8 (Geological Map of the United States) and plate 20 (Rain Map of the World) are loose. A previous owner's bookplate is on the front pastedown. Covers are worn and the edges are bumped. Rebacked with a portion of the original spine label pasted on top.

Estimate: $1,600 - $1,900

Sold for: $1,500

Closed on 9/15/2021