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Tallis' Map of Africa

SKU: 9613

Tallis' Map of Africa

Date of publication:

Place of publication:



  • John Tallis
  • Engraver(s):
    James Harfield Kernot

    John Rapkin

    This map of Africa was regularly updated to reflect the advances (and uncertainties) of European exploration, but this particular example appears to be an early state, before – for example – Lake Maravi was redesignated ‘Lake Nyassi’ (Livingstone reached Lake Nyasa or Malawi in 1859) or Port Natal was tentatively renamed ‘Port Natal & D’Urban’.

    The mapmaker

    John Tallis the younger (1817-76) is best remembered for his hugely popular "Illustrated Atlas" published serially from the mid 1840s onwards and in its complete form in 1851. He was born in Stourbridge in Worcestershire in about 1818 and it is likely that he stayed in the Midlands working as a publisher in Birmingham, until he moved to London in the early 1840s. Seemingly a victim of unscrupulous business partners, he died in penury and is buried in an unmarked grave.

    Condition & Materials 

    Steel engraving, 25 x 32.5 cm, original hand colour, imprint in lower margin cut close, trivial spotting, blank verso; engraved by John Rapkin for the ‘Illustrated Atlas’, with vignettes of St Helena and various peoples of Africa engraved by James Harfield Kernot.