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1851 Black Map of the World on Mercator's Projection

The World, on Mercator's Projection. - Main View

1851 Black Map of the World on Mercator's Projection



The World, on Mercator's Projection.
  1851 (undated)     10.5 x 17 in (26.67 x 43.18 cm)


This is a fine example of Adam and Charles Black's 1851 map of the world on Mercator's Projection. An interesting map of the world issued just as most of the earth's non-polar shore has been explored. Vast stretches of unmapped territory and speculative cartography fill central Africa and Australia. In Africa, Lake Nyasa is shown only speculatively. Neither Mt. Kenya nor Mt. Kilimanjaro are shown though the apocryphal Mountains of the Moon stretch across the continent. The sea between Japan and Korea, whose name, either the 'Sea of Korea' or the 'Sea of Japan,' is currently a matter of historical and political dispute between the two countries, is here identified in favor of Japan. The map is color coded according to continents with counties named but their boundaries not defined. Various important cities, rivers, islands, mountain ranges, and several other topographical details are noted with relief shown in hachures. This map was engraved by George Aikman for issue in the 1851 edition of Black's General Atlas of the World.


Charles and Adam Black (fl. 1807 - present) were map and book publishers based in Edinburgh. Charles and his uncle, Adam, both of Edinburgh, Scotland, founded their publishing firm in 1807. They published a series of maps and atlases throughout the 19th century. In addition to an array of atlases, the Black firm is known for their editions of the Encyclopedia Britannica (1817 - 1826) and the first publishing of Sir Walter Scott's novels in 1854. In 1889 the A. & C. Black publishing house moved to London where it remains in operation to this day. More by this mapmaker...

George Aikman (December 28, 1788 - October 16, 1865) was a Scottish printer, lithographer, and engraver active in the early 19th century. Aikman most likely apprenticed with his father of the same name, also an engraver, before joining the Edinburgh map and atlas firm of William Lizars. Several years later Aikman established himself independently as "George Aikman and Sons, Engravers and Lithographers", publishing numerous maps and prints in conjunction with the larger firm of William and Charles Black, and others. George Aikman's son, also George (1830 - 1905), became an apprentice with the firm around 1842, and eventually a journeyman engraver in Manchester and London, before returning to Edinburgh to take up a full partnership in the family business. Upon the elder Aikman's death in 1865, George became the sole proprietor of the firm and continued to publish until 1876 when he sold the business to pursue a passion for landscape painting. Learn More...


Black, A. and C., General Atlas Of The World, (Edinburgh) 1851.    


Very good. Minor overall toning. Blank on verso. Minor foxing.


Rumsey 2305.003 (1854 edition). Philips (atlases) 4334.