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1818 Pinkerton Map of India (Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tibet, Nepal, Sri Lanka)

Hindostan - Main View

1818 Pinkerton Map of India (Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tibet, Nepal, Sri Lanka)



  1818 (undated)     24.5 x 20 in (62.23 x 50.8 cm)


John Pinkerton's highly decorative map of India, published 1818. Covers the subcontinent from Tibet to Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and from the mouth of the Indus to the Kingdom of Pegu (Burma or Myanmar). Includes the modern day countries of India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet, Bangladesh, and parts of Burma, China, and Afghanistan, including the cities of Kabul and Kandahar. This stunning map offers excellent detail throughout with color coding indicating various political divisions and princely states. Names countless important cities including Delhi, Agra, Lhasa, Kathmandu, Goa, Bombay, Calcutta, Colombo, Dacca, Patna, and others. Occasionally offers comments on inland river navigation and speculative notations such as the 'Supposed course of the Aracan River.' Also offers wonderful notations regarding caravan and trade routes. One such describes a 'Night stage in a cave' on the Himalayan transverse north of Lucknow. Names urban centers, palaces, fortifications, battle sites, swamps, mountains and river systems. Lower right hand quadrant features three scales, British Miles and Rajput Cosses, and Hindustan Cosses. Drawn by L. Herbert and engraved by Samuel Neele under the direction of John Pinkerton. This map comes from the scarce American edition of Pinkerton's Modern Atlas, published by Thomas Dobson & Co. of Philadelphia in 1818.


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...

Thomas Dobson (1751 - 1823) was an American publisher active in Philadelphia during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Dobson was born in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1751 and emigrated to Philadelphia c. 1780. In Philadelphia, he established a successful printing business by republishing edited and updated versions of important British reference materials in matching quality but at a much lower price point. He is best known for publishing the first American edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica. He also published America's first Hebrew Bible. Cartographically Dobson's most notable work is 1818 republication of Pinkerton's fantastic Modern Atlas. Learn More...


Pinkerton, J., A Modern Atlas, from the Lates and Best Authorities, Exhibiting the Various Divisions of the World with its chief Empires, Kingdoms, and States; in Sixty Maps, carefully reduced from the Larges and Most Authentic Sources. 1818, Philadelphia, Thomas Dobson Edition.    


Very good condition. Minor damp staining in left quadrants. Some transference, lower right quadrant. Blank on verso.


Rumsey 0732.036. Phillips (Atlases) 724. National Maritime Museum, 409.