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Antique map of Tartary, Chiba, Mongolia by John Thomson, 1814

1814 Tartary.

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By: John Thomson

Date: 1814 (Published) Edinburgh

Dimensions: 19.5 x 23.75 (50 x 60.33 cm)

This superb large format map of Tartary, the land inhabited by Turkic and Mongol peoples, covers most of central Asia, and extends from the Caspian Sea to Japan and the Pacific Ocean in the east, and to southern India and part of SE Asia. The Russian Empire occupies a large portion of the map in the north. The map is engraved in the minimalist English style pioneered in the early part of the 19th century, a style which reduced maps’ decorative elements to a minimum. Relief is shown by hachure with towns, cities, and major topographical features identified.

The map depicts much of the old Mongol Empire which was ruled by the sons of Kublai Khan and includes territories in the modern-day countries of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. Portions of the ancient Silk Route are depicted along with fabled cities through which it wended and still wends its way. This map from Thomson’s New General Atlas is one of the finest and most informative maps of the region of its era.

John Thomson (1777 - 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. Thomson was one of the leading publishers in the Edinburgh school of cartography, which flourished in the early decades of the 19th century. 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.

Condition: This superb large format map on heavy paper is in A condition.  Original coloring.

Inventory #11897

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