1851 Black Map of Switzerland
Description: This is a fine example of Adam and Charles Black's 1851 map of Switzerland. The map covers the entirety of Switzerland divided into its constituent Cantons from Vaud to Grisons. Parts of adjacent France, Germany, and Italy are also shown. After the ratification of a federal constitution in 1848, Switzerland underwent a rapid social and economic development. The cantonal currencies were replaced by a single currency (the Swiss Franc) and many of the cantons subsequently established representative governments and instituted freedom of the press and trade. Throughout, the map identifies various cities, towns, rivers, roadways, mountains and an assortment of additional topographical details with relief rendered by hachure. This map was engraved by Sidney Hall and issued as plate no. XVII for 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 2305.024 (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. Minor stain in lower margin.
Code: Switzerland-black-1851 (to order by phone call: 646-320-8650)
© Geographicus Rare Antique Maps, Kevin Brown, 5/3/2015