By: John Thomson
Date: 1817 (circa) Edinburgh
Dimensions: 16.25 x 22.4 inches (41.28 x 56.9 cm)
This superb large format map from Thomson’s New General Atlas features one of the Low Countries - the Netherlands, along with parts of Germany and France. 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 all identified.
The map is beautifully drawn, and shows an abundance of forested areas in the Netherlands, something of a visual surprise when taking into account this Low Country’s eternal fight, its perpetual buttressing of its dikes which hold the North Sea at bay. There is also an ongoing battle to reclaim land from the Sea, commonly labeled as sea polder, which is surprising productive agricultural land. Fifteen government municipalities known as departments are depicted and annotated with names of the major cities in each.
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 colouring.