1818 (undated) 22 x 20 in (55.88 x 50.8 cm)
A rare and important 1818 map of the Southern Hemisphere by John Pinkerton. On a Polar projection, this map depicts Australia, Polynesia, and the parts of South America and Africa. This map was issued after the search for Terra Australis, or the Great Southern Continent, had been abandoned, but prior to the discovery of Antarctica - consequently the South Pole is depicted as a vast ocean called 'Icy Sea.'
In the more populated lands to the north, this map offers fairly accurate shorelines throughout. In Africa, the interior remains unexplored except for the Congo, the Cape Colony and the gold mining regions of Monomotapa. Similarly, the coasts of Australia are accurate but the interior is vague and unknown.
Drawn by L. Herbert and engraved by Samuel Neele under the direction of John Pinkerton. The map comes from the scarce American edition of Pinkerton's Modern Atlas, published by Thomas Dobson & Co. of Philadelphia in 1818.
John Pinkerton (1758-1826) was one of the leading masters of the Edinburgh school of cartography which flourished from roughly 1800 to 1830. Pinkerton & his contemporaries (Thomson & 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 the "Pinkerton's Modern Atlas" published from 1808 through 1815 with a special American reissue by Dobson & Co. in 1818. Today Pinkerton maps are becoming increasingly rare as they are highly admired for their unsurpassed quality, monumental size, vivid hand coloration, and flawless detail.
Thomas Dobson 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.
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 discoloration along original centerfold. Minor dampstaining in lower margins. Blank on verso.
Rumsey 0732.004. Phillips (Atlases) 724. National Maritime Museum, 409.