Catalog Archive
Auction 195, Lot 123

"[Lot of 2] West Canada [and] East Canada, and New Brunswick", Tallis, John

Subject: Eastern Canada

Period: 1850 (circa)

Publication: Illustrated Atlas and Modern History of the World

Color: Hand Color

13 x 9.9 inches
33 x 25.1 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.

This matched pair of decorative steel engraved maps shows all of what was then called East and West Canada. Both maps were engraved and expertly rendered by John Rapkin and are surrounded by fancy engraved borders. The former (13.0 x 9.8") covers the region of present-day Ontario and includes uncolored vignettes by H. Warren and engraver Robert Wallis of Niagara Falls, an Indigenous encampment, a bison hunt, and river otters. The latter (13.4 x 10.3") is a fine map of the St. Lawrence River and New Brunswick. There are two large vignettes, drawn by Warren and engraved by J.B. Allen: a group of North American Indians, and a lovely view of Quebec with numerous sailing ships and boats in the foreground. A third smaller vignette shows a bison.


Condition: A

Contemporary outline color with a hint of toning along the centerfolds.

Estimate: $180 - $220

Sold for: $180

Closed on 11/15/2023