A rare 1829 John Thomson historical map illustrating the conquests and conversions of Mohammed and his followers. The map, which is centered on Arabia, covers from the Canary Island to Japan and from Scandinavia to South Africa. Thomson compiled this map from various sources ranging from the journals of Mungo Parke to travelers reports from Central Asia and the Far East. ).
This map engraved by T. Clerk and published by John Thomson for Thomson's 1829 New Classical And Historical Atlas. This atlas, and the maps it contains, is quite rare and OCLC identifies only 3 examples.
John Thomson (1777 - c. 1841) was a Scottish cartographer, publisher, and bookbinder active in Edinburgh during the early part of the 19th century. Thomson apprenticed under Edinburgh bookbinder Robert Alison. After his apprenticeship he briefly went into business with Abraham Thomson. Later the two parted ways, John Thomson segueing into maps and Abraham Thomson taking over the bookbinding portion of the business. Thomson is generally one of the leading publishers in the Edinburgh school of cartography which flourished from roughly 1800 to 1830. Thomson and his contemporaries (Pinkerton and Cary) redefined European cartography by abandoning typical 18th century decorative elements such as elaborate title cartouches and fantastic beasts in favor of detail and accuracy. Thomson's principle works include Thomson's New General Atlas, published from 1814 to 1821, the New Classical and Historical Atlas of 1829, and his 1830 Atlas of Scotland. The Atlas of Scotland, a work of groundbreaking detail and dedication would eventually bankrupt the Thomson firm in 1830, at which time their plates were sequestered by the court. The firm partially recovered in the subsequent year allowing Thomson to reclaim his printing plates in 1831, but filed again for bankruptcy in 1835, at which time most of his printing plates were sold to A. K. Johnston and Company. There is some suggestion that he continued to work as a bookbinder until 1841. Today, Thomson maps are becoming increasingly rare as they are highly admired for their impressive size, vivid hand coloration, and superb detail.
Thomson, J. New Classical and Historical Atlas, (Edinburgh) 1829.
The New Classical and Historical Atlas is one of John Thomson's rarer works. The atlas was issued in concert with James Wyld and follows stylistically on Thomson's better known work from the New General Atlas. It was published in 1829 and contained 49 hand colored imperial folio maps. When it was originally issued the atlas cost a whopping 8 guinea. This atlas, though grand, must not have been exceptionally popular as Thomson was driven into bankruptcy one year later in 1830. Sales may have subsequently increased as his finances appear to have marginally recovered only to slump again in a second bankruptcy filing in 1835. Around this time Thomson sold the plates of this Classical Atlas to A. K Johnston. There is some evidence that Johnston considered republishing it from the original Thomson plates in 1835, but no full examples of this work survive.
Very good. Light transferrence. Original centerfold exhibits some wear.