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1811 Pinkerton Map of Persia ( Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan)

Persia. - Main View

1811 Pinkerton Map of Persia ( Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan)



  1811 (dated)     21 x 28 in (53.34 x 71.12 cm)


An exceptionally attractive example of John Pinkerton's rare 1811 map of Persia. Covers from the Black Sea in the northwest to Fergana in the northeast, to the Arabian Desert in the southwest to the Mouths of the Indus in the southeast. Roughly includes the modern day nations of Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan. We cannot praise Pinkerton's cartographic work sufficiently. This masterful map offers extraordinary detail, fine engraving, and delicate color work. Pinkerton emerged as one of the preeminent cartographers of an important transitional period wherein the decorative elements common to 17th and 18th century cartography were being discarded in exchange for accuracy and detail. This map is no exception. Pinkerton details mountains, deserts, swamps, lakes and river systems. He shows offshore reefs and banks in the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Sea. He also notes numerous towns, villages and even castles. Lake Van, in what is today eastern Turkey (ancient Armenia ), Pinkerton labels 'doubtful,' though it does in fact exist. Near Van we can also find Mt. Ararat and the ruins of several ancient cities. Further south Pinkerton notes the Ruins of Babylon, Bagdad, and Bossra. Altogether a fine and extraordinary map. Drawn under the direction of John Pinkerton by L. Herbert for issue as plate no. 35 in the 1815 Cadell & Davies issue of Pinkerton's Modern Atlas. Dated September 1st, 1811.


John Pinkerton (February 17, 1758 - March 10, 1826) was an Scottish writer, historian, and cartographer. Pinkerton was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. He was a studious youth with a passion for the classics. As a young man, he studied at Edinburgh University before apprenticing as a lawyer. Around this time, he began writing, with his first book, Elegy on Craigmillar Castle published in 1776. Pinkerton moved to London in 1781 to pursue his writing career in earnest. He successfully published several works of literature, poetry, and history. Pinkerton proved passionate in his literary and historical writings, but his correspondence with other cartographers has been labeled as aggressive, even insane. In addition to his work as a writer and historian, Pinkerton was one of the leading masters of the Edinburgh school of cartography which flourished from roughly 1800 to 1830. Pinkerton and his contemporaries (Thomson and Cary) redefined European cartography by abandoning typical 18th century decorative elements such as elaborate title cartouches and fantastical beasts in favor of detail and accuracy. Pinkerton's principle work is Pinkerton's Modern Atlas published from 1808 through 1815 with a special American reissue by Dobson and Co. in 1818. Pinkerton relocated to Paris in 1818, where he managed his publishing business until his death in 1826. More by this mapmaker...


Pinkerton, J., Pinkerton's Modern Atlas, 1815.    


Very good. Original centerfold. Wide clean margins. Blank on verso.


Rumsey 0732.037. Phillips (Atlases) 724.