Colony of New South Wales.
1835 (undated) 21 x 17 in (53.34 x 43.18 cm)
1 : 2304000
A beautiful map of the colony of New South Wales, Australia, from Sidney Hall's extremely scarce 1835 New General Atlas. The map covers eastern Australia from Moreton Bay south, Past Sydney and Botany Bay, to Long Beach and Twofold Bay. It also extends a considerable distance inland despite the region being only tenuously mapped. There are four known states of this map, each featuring significant updates over its predecessors. The present example is the scarce 2nd edition, issued in 1835. Instead of 9 counties, as appear in the 1830 variant, the present example divides New South Wales into 19 counties. Moreover, it features significant additional inland detail not present in the first edition. Two of the first edition's three 'Unexplored Country' annotations have been removed, leaving only the third and largest to the west of the Macquarie River. All variants of this map feature a large inset general map of Australia in the upper left quadrant. The western part of the continent is there identified as 'New Holland,' a term that would fall out of favor shortly after this map was printed. Elevation throughout is rendered by hachure. Hall's map is among the largest and finest maps of this region to be commercially produced in the early 19th century and a cornerstone of any New South Wales collection.
Sidney Hall's New General Atlas was published from 1830 to 1857, the first edition being the most common, with all subsequent editions appearing only rarely. Most of the maps included in the first edition of this atlas were drawn between 1827 and 1828 and are most likely steel plate engravings, making it among the first cartographic work to employ this technique. Each of the maps in this large and impressive atlas feature elegant engraving and an elaborate keyboard style border. Though this is hardly the first map to employ this type of border, it is possibly the earliest to use it on such a large scale. Both the choice to use steel plate engraving and the addition of the attractive keyboard boarder are evolutions of anti-forgery efforts. Copper plates, which were commonly used for printing bank notes in the early 19th century, proved largely unsuitable due to their overall fragility and the ease with which they could be duplicated. In 1819 the Bank of England introduced a £20,000 prize for anyone who could devise a means to print unforgeable notes. The American inventors Jacob Perkins and Asa Spencer responded to the call. Perkins discovered a process for economically softening and engraving steel plates while Spencer invented an engraving lathe capable of producing complex patters repetitively - such as this keyboard border. Though Perkins and Spenser did not win the prize, their steel plate engraving technique was quickly adopted by map publishers in England, who immediately recognized its value. Among early steel plate cartographic productions, this atlas, published in 1830 by Longman Rees, Orme, Brown & Green stands out as perhaps the finest. This map was issued by Sidney Hall and published by Longman Rees, Orme, Brown & Green of Paternoster Row, London, in the 1835 edition of the Sidney Hall New General Atlas.
Sidney Hall (1788 - 1831) was an English engraver and map publisher active in London during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. His earliest imprints, dating to about 1814, suggest a partnership with Michael Thomson, another prominent English map engraver. Hall engraved for most of the prominent London map publishers of his day, including Aaron Arrowsmith, William Faden, William Harwood, and John Thomson, among others. Hall is credited as being one of the earliest adopters of steel plate engraving, a technique that allowed for finer detail and larger print runs due to the exceptional hardness of the medium. Upon his early death - he was only in his 40s - Hall's business was inherited by his wife, Selina Hall, who continued to publish under the imprint, "S. Hall", presumably for continuity. The business eventually passed to Sidney and Selina's nephew Edward Weller, who became extremely prominent in his own right.
Hall, S., A New General Atlas, with the Divisions and Boundaries, 1835.
Very good. Minor wear along original centerfold. Original platemark visible. Blank on verso. Minor offsetting.
Rumsey 4224.036 (1830 edition). National Library of Australia: Rex Nan Kivell Collection ; NK2456/115 Rex Nan Kivell Collection ; NK10750/2 Ferguson Collection ; Map F 510. Tooley, R.V., The mapping of Australia and Antarctica, 2nd ed., p. 92-93. Philips (Atlases) 758. Ristow, W., American Maps and Mapmakers: Commercial Cartography in the Nineteenth Century, p. 303-09.