By: John Thomson
Date: 1814 (circa) Edinburgh
Dimensions: 19.75 x 23.25 (50.17 x 59.06 cm)
This handsome large format map from Thomson’s New General Atlas features Denmark along with two insets depicting Iceland, and the Faroe Islands. Portions of Sweden and Germany are also depicted. The maps are 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.
On December 1st, 1918, a Danish-Icelandic federal law was passed in both parliaments establishing Iceland as an independent state yet retaining a personal union with Denmark. Thus while Iceland is a free and sovereign state with an independent government, it yet has political ties to Denmark.
Iceland has been mapped countless times, and Thomson’s map offers relatively little detail when compared with many other maps of the island. It does depict the rugged terrain of the island, but offers little more in detail than the naming of major ports, cities and fjords. The volcanic features of the island are popular tourist attractions but are not named in this map.
The Faroe Islands consist of a group of 18 volcanic islands in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean, northwest of Scotland and halfway between Iceland and Norway. The Islands are a self-governing island territory of Denmark. They have a population of nearly 50,000, and a language and culture of their own, the populace being largely descended from Viking settlers. When visiting the Faroes one is never more than 5 km (3 miles) away from the ocean.
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.
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