1823 (dated) 15 x 15 in (38.1 x 38.1 cm)
An unusual and beautiful semi-manuscript map of the eastern Hemisphere dating to 1823. The printed portions of this map follow the cartography of James Wyld and include the basic outlines of the continents, latitude and longitude lines, and the equator, the tropics, the arctic and Antarctic, and the Meridian of London. The remainder of the map, including all textual labels and color work, had been completed in manuscript, that is to say, hand drawn. Wyld most likely produced this map intentionally without labels for use as a classroom workbook by which children could learn geography by filling in the blanks.
The manuscript geographical data and detail throughout is altogether outstanding. The work is completed in a fine hand adept at decorative text and the rendering of rivers and mountains. The geography follows the conventions of the period. europe is well an accurately mapped – as is common. Africa features notations regarding numerous indigenous groups throughout – including the Hottentots, the Yahoos (Gulliver's Travels anyone?), the Bambara, and others. The Nile flows from the speculative Mountains of the Moon, the Niger is mapped only tenuously. In Asia, the Great Wall of China is identified, as are several mountain ranges (not the Himalayas) and rivers. The sea between Japan and Korea, whose name is disputed between the two countries, is here identified in favor of Korea as the 'Sea of Corea.' Australia appears as New Holland though the British colony of New South Wales and the city of Sydney are noted.
An altogether unique and wonderful one of a kind find.
James Wyld I (1790 - 1836) and his son James Wyld II (1812 - 1887) were the principles of English mapmaking dynasty active in London during much of the 19th century. The elder Wyld was a map publisher under William Faden and did considerable work on the Ordinance Survey. On Faden's retirement, Wyld took over Faden's workshop acquiring many of his plates. Wyld's work can often be distinguished from his son's maps through his imprint, which he signed as "Successor to Faden". Following in his father's footsteps the younger Wyld joined the Royal Cartographical Society in 1830 at the tender age of 18. When his father died in 1836, James Wyld II was prepared to fully take over and expand his father's considerable cartographic enterprise. Like his father and Faden, Wyld II held the title of official Geographer to the Crown, in this case, Queen Victoria. Among his first major decisions was to move operations from William Faden's old office at Charing Cross East to a new larger space at 475 Strand. Wyld II also chose to remove Faden's name from all of his updated map plates. Wyld II continued to update and republish both his father's work and the work of William Faden well into the late 1880s. One of Wyld's most eccentric and notable achievements is his 1851 construction of a globe 19 meters in diameter in the heart of Leicester Square, London. In the 1840s Wyld also embarked upon a political career, being elected to parliament in 1847 and again in 1857. He died in 1887 following a prolific and distinguished career.
Very Good. Partial manuscript. Original centerfold. Platemark visible. Minor verso repair, upper margin. Wide margins.