Catalog Archive
Auction 190, Lot 617

"[Lot of 2] British India [and] Southern India", Tallis, John

Subject: India & Sri Lanka

Period: 1850 (circa)

Publication: Illustrated Atlas and Modern History of the World

Color: Hand Color

9.9 x 13.2 inches
25.1 x 33.5 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 pair of decorative maps embellished with delicate borders and vignettes. The map of British India (9.9 x 13.2") includes most of Sri Lanka, all of Punjab, and extends in the east to the delta of the Ganges. The vignettes show Lahore with horsemen in the foreground, a band of Beloochees in ambush, a royal Indian procession with numerous elephants, and the Cootub Minar in Delhi. A legend identifies via hand colored lines the various presidencies of the country, military stations, civil stations, and the proposed railroads. The proposed rails run between Bombay, Delhi, Sholapoor, and Calcutta. Drawn and engraved by J. Rapkin, with the vignettes drawn by A.H. Wray and engraved by G. Greatbach.

The map of Southern India (9.2 x 12.5") shows eastern and southern India and Sri Lanka. The map is surrounded by vignettes including Shuhur Jeypoor, Tomb of Sultan Mahomed Shah at Bejapoor, and the Government House at Calcutta. Drawn and engraved by J. Rapkin, with the vignettes drawn by A.H. Wray and engraved by J.H. Kernot.


Condition: A

Contemporary outline color with later color in the decorative elements. Each sheet has an archivally repaired centerfold separation confined to the blank margin.

Estimate: $140 - $170

Sold for: $100

Closed on 11/16/2022