West India Islands. / Martinico. / Dominica. / Cul de Sac Royal.
1814 (undated) 20.5 x 23.5 in (52.07 x 59.69 cm)
A fine example of John Thomson's stunning c. 1814 map of the West India islands of Dominica and Martinique. Divided into two sections this map offers spectacular detail of these two picturesque islands. Both sections offer detail t the level of individual buildings noting churches, convents, villages, hospitals and forts. Also notes some sailing hazards and portages. Both also show mountains, rivers, caves, forests, and river systems. In the lower left hand quadrant there is an inset of the Cul de Sac Royal (modern day Fort-de-France. Engraved by Kirkwood and Son of Edinburgh for the 1817 edition of John Thomson's General Atlas.
Thomson's New General Atlas was first published in 1817 and continued to be published until about 1821. This is the first of Thomson's major cartographic works and the atlas for which is most celebrated. The New General Atlas follows in the Edinburgh School, which eschews excessive decoration in favor of a more minimalized fact -based cartographic vision, as established by John Pinkerton and others in the previous decades. The maps are notable for their massive scale, heavy stock, elegant color work, and easy-to-read typefaces. Although the atlas stopped being published after 1821, Thomson continued to offer 'supplementary' maps that could be tipped into the atlas as late as 1830, when he declared bankruptcy. The maps in the Thomson Atlas were engraved by Thomas Clerk, William Dassauville, Nathaniel Rogers Hewitt, James Kirkwood, Robert Kirkwood, John Menzies, George Menzies, Edward Mitchell, John Moffatt, Samuel John Neele, Robert Scott, and James Wyld.John Thomson (fl. 1804 - 1837) was a Scottish cartographer, publisher and bookbinder active in Edinburgh during the early part of the 19th century. Thomson is generally one of the leading masters of the Edinburgh school of cartography which flourished from roughly 1800 to 1830. Thomson & his contemporaries (Pinkerton & Cary) redefined European cartography by abandoning typical 18th century decorative elements such as elaborate title cartouches and fantastic beasts in favor of detail and accuracy. Thomson's principle works include the Thomson's New General Atlas, published from 1814 to 1821 and his Atlas of Scotland. The "Atlas of Scotland, a work of groundbreaking detail and dedication would eventually bankrupt the Thomson firm in 1830. Today Thomson maps are becoming increasingly rare as they are highly admired for their monumental size, vivid hand coloration, and superb detail.
Thomson, John. A new general atlas, consisting of a series of geographical designs, on various projections, exhibiting the form and component parts of the globe; and a collection of maps and charts, delineating the natural and political divisions of the empires, kingdoms, and states in the World. Constructed from the best systematic works, and the most authentic voyages and travels. With a memoir of the progress of geography, a summary of physical geography, and a consulting index to facilitate the finding out of places., (1817 edition)
Very good. Minor offsetting and some spotting along original centerfold. Blank on verso.
Rumsey 1007.072. Phillips (Atlases) 731. Newberry Library: Ayer +135 T4 1817.