1851 Tallis and Rapkin Map of New South Wales, Australia w/ Gold Claims

New South Wales. - Main View

1851 Tallis and Rapkin Map of New South Wales, Australia w/ Gold Claims


Highlights numerous gold claims across New South Wales at the beginning of the Australian Gold Rush.


New South Wales.
  1851 (undated)     14 x 10.5 in (35.56 x 26.67 cm)     1 : 5512320


This is an 1850 John Tallis map of New South Wales, Australia highlighting the many gold claims peppered throughout the region. The map depicts eastern Australia from the Great Sandy Island south past Sydney to Cape Howe and extends a considerable distance inland despite the region being only tenuously mapped. Gold claims are marked by dashed lines and highlighted with bright gold colored ink. Beautiful illustrations by H. Warren depicting The Murray, a Xanthorrhaea (a plant endemic to Australia) and the Sydney Cove are also present. The seal of New South Wales is situated in the upper left corner. The map also notes the 1817 John Oxley's 1817 route is traced, along with that of Charles Sturt. The whole has the highly decorative presentation and elaborate border distinctive of Tallis maps.
Australian Gold Rush of 1851
Gold was known to be present in Australia prior to 1851, but the intentional suppression of this information by the colonial government of New South Wales prevented all-out gold rushes. When gold was discovered at Sutter's Mill, California, in 1848, causing the California Gold Rush, countless Australians migrated in search of their fortunes. Desirous of maintaining their dwindling work force, the colonial governors rethought their position, and sought approval from the Colonial Office in England to allow the exploitation of the mineral resources and also offered rewards for the finding of payable gold. This led to the first major Australian gold rush when prospector Edward Hargraves discovered gold at Ophir, near Orange. A series of subsequent discoveries followed, transforming the Australian economy and leading to a rush of new immigration.
Publication History
This map was drawn and engraved by John Rapkin, with illustrations drawn by H. Warren and engraved by J. Rogers. It was published by John Tallis and Company in 1851.


John Tallis (November 7, 1817 - June 3, 1876) was an English map publisher and bookseller. Born in Stourbridge in Worcestershire, worked in his father's Birmingham agency from 1836 until 1842. Roughly in 1838, Tallis published a collection of London Street Views, and entered into a partnership with his brother Frederick Tallis from 1842 - 1849. Tallis and Company also published the Illustrated Atlas of the World in 1849. Also in 1849, Tallis traveled to New York City where he founded publishing agencies in six American cities. Upon returning from New York, Tallis paid his brother £10,000 for his share of the business, and operated from then on as John Tallis and Company until 1854. By 1853, John Tallis and Company had agencies in twenty-six cities in the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada and employed over 500 people. By the end of 1853, Tallis had made the decision to share the burden of running such an extensive company and formed the London Printing and Publishing Company on February 24, 1854, becoming co-managing director with Ephraim Tipton Brain. After a series of setbacks, however, Tallis had to sell his estate and by 1861 was declared bankrupt. He was kept afloat by the kindness of friends and former employees, but none of his 'various ambitious projects' ever worked out for the rest of his life. Tallis married Jane Ball on December 6, 1836 in Birmingham, with whom he lived until her death in 1862. Tallis remarried on June 27, 1863 to Mary Stephens, with whom he had two children. Learn More...

John Rapkin (July 18, 1813 - June 20, 1899) was an English mapmaker and engraver. Born in Southwark, Rapkin was the son of George Rapkin, a shoemaker, and his wife Elizabeth Harfy. Rapkin and his brother Richard both became engravers and his other brother, William Harfy Rapkin, became a copperplate printer. Rapkin produced works for James Wyld and John Tallis, including The United States and the relative position of Oregon and Texas for Wyld around 1845, and a series of eighty maps for Tallis that became 'Tallis's illustrated atlas, and modern history of the world' in 1851. Rapkin married Frances Wilmot Rudell on January 4, 1837, with whom he had at least eight children, some of whom became engravers, including his sons John Benjamin Rapkin (1837 - 1914), Alfred Thomas Rapkin (1841 - 1905), Joseph Clarke Rapkin (1846? - 1912), and Frederick William Rapkin (1859 - 1945). Rapkin operated under the imprint 'John Rapkin and Sons from 1867 until 1883, and was operating as 'John Rapkin and Sons' by 1887. Rapkin died in 1899 at the age of 85 soon after the death of his wife of over sixty years. Learn More...


Good. Exhibits soiling in all four corners. Blank on verso.