The World on Mercator’s Projection – With Vignettes of London, Gibraltar, Constantinople, The Pyramids of Ghizeh, Niagara, Pont Neuf Paris and Vesuvius.
London & New York, John Tallis & Company, 1851. Original steel engraving / Vintage map. Drawn and engraved by John Rapkin. Partly hand-coloured. Illustrations by H. Warren and Engraved by J.B. Allen. Plate Size: 34.7 cm x 26.5 cm. Sheet Size: 37.3 cm x 27.2 cm. In fair condition with tears evident. Slight browning and paper imperfections to outer margins.
Published in the Illustrated Atlas, And Modern History Of The World Geographical, Political, Commercial & Statistical, Edited By R. Montgomery Martin.
Beautifully bordered and fascinating map of the globe utilizing the Mercator projection that became the usual projection for commercial and educational maps in the 19th Century. Even a cursory glance at the map shows the distortions associated with the map as the lands nearer the equator, such as Africa and South American, look disproportionately small when compared to the inflated sized of Greenland and northern Asia. The lack of knowledge about Antarctica is evident with only a sliver of South Victoria included on the map. Britain’s colonial holdings and the steam routes between the UK and its colonies are also included on the map. The major cities and rivers are included on the map and relief depicted with hachuring.
The Mercator projection is a cylindrical map projection presented by the Flemish geographer and cartographer Gerardus Mercator in 1569. It became the standard map projection for navigation because of its unique property of representing any course of constant bearing as a straight segment.
John Tallis (7 November 1817 – 3 June 1876) was an English cartographic publisher. His company, John Tallis and Company, published views, maps and atlases in London from roughly 1838 to 1851.
Tallis set up as a publisher with Frederick Tallis in Cripplegate in 1842; the business moved to Smithfield in 1846, and was dissolved in 1849. From 1851 to 1854 Tallis operated as John Tallis and Company. He started The illustrated news of the world and national portrait gallery of eminent personages in 1858, selling it for £1,370 in 1861; it folded in 1863. (Wikipedia)
The most important project John Tallis undertook, was the ‘Illustrated Atlas’ from 1851. The original map we offer here, was part of this exceptional Atlas and all the maps it contained are still today considered as the last reminder of an era of lavish map production. Tallis worked the project together with John Rapkin (1815-1876) and it was Rapkin’s style and talent that we have to thank for when we marvel at these maps today. What makes these maps so special is the detail of engraved vignettes that surround the map and often show indigenous scenes, people in their environment and even more so, historical buildings or historical views of towns and cities, architecture and landscape.
The project of ‘The Illustrated Atlas’ was designed to be finished just in time for the anxiously awaited “Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations” or The Great Exhibition, sometimes referred to as the Crystal Palace Exhibition in reference to the temporary structure in which it was held, was an international exhibition that took place in Hyde Park, London, from 1 May to 11 October 1851. It was the first in a series of World’s Fairs, exhibitions of culture and industry that became popular in the 19th century, and it was a much-anticipated event.
The Great Exhibition was organized by Henry Cole and Prince Albert, husband of the reigning monarch, Queen Victoria. It was attended by numerous notable figures of the time, including Charles Darwin, Samuel Colt, members of the Orléanist Royal Family and the writers Charlotte Brontë, Charles Dickens, Lewis Carroll, George Eliot and Alfred Tennyson. Music for the opening was under the direction of Sir George Thomas Smart and the continuous music from the exhibited organs for the Queen’s procession was “under the superintendence of William Sterndale Bennett”. (Wikipedia)