By: John Thomson
Date: 1814 (Published) Edinburgh
Dimensions: 22 x 18.5 inches (55.9 x 47 cm)
This handsome large format map from Thomson’s New General Atlas features 1814 Scandinavia, including Sweden, Denmark and Norway. Modern-day Finland is also depicted, but is shown to be part of the Kingdom of Sweden as it was at the time. Some territories of northern Europe and Russia are also shown, including famed Lake Ladoga on whose frozen surface Alexander Nevsky defeated a large group of Teutonic Knights in the winter of 1242.
Another interesting landmark noted by Thomson is the Norwegian Moskenstraumen, the series of unusually strong whirlpools often referred to as the Maelstrom, which is located between two islands in northwestern Norway. The theme of this phenomenon occurred in early Nordic mythology and was later popularized in America by Edgar Allen Poe in one of his short stories.
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.
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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