1851 Black Map of South America
Description: A fine example of Adam and Charles Black's 1851 map of South America. This map covers the entire continent from the Caribbean to Tierra del Fuego and from the Pacific to the Atlantic, including the Falkland Islands. Depicts the continent in impressive detail – especially the interior, which at the time was largely unknown.
Much of South America was, at this time, embroiled in or about to become embroiled in, severe civil strife. The new nations, freed from Spanish dominance though various wars of liberation in the previous decades, were struggling with their newfound independence in an attempt create stable and prosperous governments. Most would dissolve into civil war between 1858 and 1864.
Throughout, the map identifies various cities, towns, rivers, mountain passes and an assortment of additional topographical details. Map is hand colored in pink, green and yellow pastels to define boundaries. The map is engraved by Sidney Hall and issued as plate no. LL in the 1851 edition of Black's General Atlas.
Date: 1851 (undated)
Source: Black, A. and C., General Atlas Of The World, (Edinburgh) 1851.
References: Rumsey 2305.061 (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 16.5 in height x 11.5 inches in width (41.91 x 29.21 centimeters)
Condition: Very good. Blank on verso. Original platemark visible.
Code: SouthAmerica-black-1851 (to order by phone call: 646-320-8650)
© Geographicus Rare Antique Maps, Kevin Brown, 4/5/2015