This is a fascinating 1833 map of New South Wales, Australia, by the S.D.U.K. It covers the eastern Australia from Trial Bay to Bateman Bay. Although the coastlines are accurately mapped, much of the interior remains relatively unknown. Several notes throughout note the speculative inland topography, including 'Level and scrubby stunted Iron bark,' 'Barren rocky hills with some Cypress,' 'Extensive Plains of Red Sand,' etc. An inset in the lower right quadrant of the map details Sydney from the New South Wales Almanac. This map was created based on the surveys of the Australian Agricultural Company and the routes of Allan Cunningham, the noted British explorer and botanist.
Published in 1833 by Baldwin and Cradock of Paternoster Row for the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, or S.D.U.K. Although the Society formally closed its doors in 1848, subsequent reissues of the S.D.U.K. atlas were printed well into the 1870s by Chapman and Hall, who acquired the original plates.
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.
Maps of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, (London: Baldwin & Cradock), 1833.
Very good. Blank on verso.
Rumsey 0890.156. Phillips (Atlases) 794.