Crude Vignettes from Primitive Peoples Načá
1851 Western Hemisphere Map by John Tallis
10" x 14"
Dwayne Wilcox, Oglala-Lakota
Publication: Illustrated Atlas and Modern History of the World, 1851
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 finely rendered hemispheric map is among the most decorative maps produced in the 19th century. It is decorated with numerous beautiful vignettes by Warren, featuring whales, natives, and indigenous animals, all surrounded by a fancy vine-style border. The map extends to include New Zealand and the Solomon Islands in the Pacific, and the Cape Verde Islands in the Atlantic. Alaska is Russian America, New California occupies all the west coast, and the coast of Antarctica is partially defined. The illustrations are by H. Warren and engraved by J. Rogers; the map was drawn and engraved by J. Rapkin.