1851 Black Map of Persia and Afghanistan

Persia and Afghanistan.

1851 Black Map of Persia and Afghanistan


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Persia and Afghanistan.
  1851 (undated)    11 x 16 in (27.94 x 40.64 cm)


This is a fine example of the Adam and Charles Black's 1851 map of Persia and Afghanistan. Centered on Yazd (Yezd) in modern day Iran, the map covers Iran, Afghanistan and parts of Pakistan, Iraq, India and Turkmenistan. It is curious to note that the northern borders of Persia, east of the Caspian Sea, are indistinct and suggestive of a general lack of knowledge regarding central Asia in the middle 19th century. Persia at this time was controlled by the powerful Qajar Dynasty of Shahs. Various towns, cities, rivers, mountains and several other topographical details are noted with relief shown in hachures. This map was engraved by Sidney Hall and issued as plate no. XXXVIII in the 1851 edition of Black's General Atlas of the World.


Charles and his uncle Adam Black of Edinburgh, Scotland, founded their publishing firm in 1807. They published a series of maps and atlases throughout the 19th century. In addition to an array of atlases, the Black firm is known for their editions of the Encyclopedia Britannica (1817 - 1826) and the first publishing of Sir Walter Scott's novels in 1854. In 1889 the A. & C. Black publishing house moved to London where it remains in operation to this day.

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.


Black, A. and C., General Atlas Of The World, (Edinburgh) 1851.    


Very good. Minor overall toning. Blank on verso.


Rumsey 2305.043 (1854 edition). Philips (atlases) 4334. Alai, C., General Maps of Perisa 1477-1925, E278.