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1850 Perthes Map of the Northern South America


Price: $100.00


Title:    Sud-America in zwei Blatten.

Description:    This is a fascinating example of the 1850 Justus Perthes map of the northern part of South America. It covers the northern part of the continent including Panama, New Granada, Venezuela, ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile and Guyana. Shows Bolivia’s claims to the Atacama Desert and a narrow strip of land along the Pacific coast – valuable territory that was subsequently lost to Chile and Peru. Perthes’ map is highly detailed with both political and physical data. Various cities, mountains, roads, rivers and an assortment of additional topographical details are noted.

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 dissolved into civil war between 1858 and 1864.

Political and regional borders are highlighted in outline color. Unlike other cartographic publishers of the period, the Justus Perthes firm did not transition to lithographic printing techniques. Instead, all of their maps are copper plate engravings and hence offer a level of character and depth of detail that was impossible to find in lithography or wax-process engraving. All text is in German. Issued as plate no. 49b in the 1854 edition of Stieler’s Hand-Atlas.


Date:    1850 (dated)

Source:    Stieler, A., Stieler's Hand-Atlas (Germany: Perthes) 1854.

Cartographer:    Justus Perthes (1749 - 1812) was one of the most important German cartographic engravers of the 19th century. Perthes began his publishing empire with the 1784 issue of the famed survey of European nobility known as the Almanac de Gotha. In 1817 Perthes switched his focus to cartographic publishing. From 1817 to 1890 the Perthes firm would issue thousands of maps for more than 20 different atlases. Along with the visionary editors Stieler, Peterman, Meyer and Spruner, the Perthes firm pioneered the Hand Atlas. He also produced a number of important wall maps and case maps. Perthes maps are admired for their steel plate engraving, incredible detail, dedication to accuracy, and fine colorization. The Justus Perthes firm continues to produce maps and atlases to this day. Click here for a list of rare maps from Justus Perthes.

Cartographer:    Adolf Stieler (1775–1836) was a German cartographer who worked most of his life in the Justus Perthes Geographical Institute in Gotha. His atlases are deservedly held in high esteem for their excellence. His Handatlas was the leading German world atlas until the middle of the 20th century, parts of which were printed until 1944.Click here for a list of rare maps from Justus Perthes.

Size:   Printed area measures 14 in height x 17 inches in width (35.56 x 43.18 centimeters)

Condition:    Very good. Some wear on original centerfold. Original platemark visible. Blank on verso.

Code:   SouthAmericaNorth-perthes-1854 (to order by phone call: 646-320-8650)

© Geographicus Rare Antique Maps, Kevin Brown, 1/9/2014



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