1851 Black Map of Asia
Description: This is a fine example of Adam and Charles Black's 1851 map of Asia. The map covers the entire Asian continent from the Arctic Ocean to the Indian Ocean and from the Mediterranean Sea to the North Pacific Ocean. The map covers Turkey, Arabia, Persia, the Indian subcontinent, Russia, the Chinese empire, Japan and parts of Southeast Asia. It further includes Tibet and Korea within the borders of the Chinese empire. Both the Great Wall and Gobi Desert are identified. Afghanistan is divided into Cabool and the southern province of Beloochistan (Baluchistan).
As this map was being drawn, Imperial China wilted under the weak Qing while the Russian attained the height of its pan-continental expansion. Turkey and much of the Middle east were under Ottoman hegemony. In India, shortly after this map was made, the sepoys of the British east Indian Company would revolt in India's First War of Independence. The First War of Independence would lead to the collapse of the British east India Company and the consolidation of India would fall under the suzerainty of the British Raj.
Throughout, the map identifies various cities, towns, rivers, mountain passes and an assortment of additional topographical details with relief shown in hachures. Map is hand colored in pink, green, blue and yellow pastels to define boundaries. This map was engraved by Sidney Hall and issued as plate no. XXXV in the 1851 edition of Black's General Atlas of the World.
Date: 1851 (undated)
Source: Black, A. and C., General Atlas Of The World, (Edinburgh) 1851.
References: Rumsey 2305.040 (1854 edition). Philips (atlases) 4334.
Cartographer: 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. Click here for a list of rare maps by Charles & Adam Black.
Cartographer: 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. Click here for a list of rare maps by Sidney Hall.
Size: Printed area measures 11 in height x 16 inches in width (27.94 x 40.64 centimeters)
Condition: Very good. Minor overall toning. Blank on verso.
Code: Asia2-black-1851 (to order by phone call: 646-320-8650)
© Geographicus Rare Antique Maps, Kevin Brown, 21/9/2014