By: John Thomson
Date: 1817 (Published) Edinburgh
Dimensions: 17 x 19.5 inches (43.2 x 49.3 cm)
This superb large format map from Thomson’s New General Atlas depicts Poland following the Napoleonic Wars and the treaties resulting from the 1815 Congress of Vienna. 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.
Various European alliances had resulted in the repartitioning of Poland at least three times before the Congress of Vienna, thus this dividing of it is commonly referred to as the Fourth Partition. The new partition added territories to Germany, Austria and Russia. The map is color coded to reflect this, with German claims in blue, Austrian in red and Russian in yellow.
Vast areas of primeval forest such as Bialowieza in Poland, which today is on the frontline of environmental threats in Europe, are shown throughout much of the eastern portion of the map. The magnificent Carpathian Mountains are denoted, as are all major river systems. Lithuania is shown having come under the influence of the Russian Empire. The map is a fascinating study of European politics in the early 19th century just after the Napoleonic Wars had raged through much of Europe.
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. A separation has been repaired with archival material on the verso. There is slight creasing in two places. Original coloring.
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