By: John Thomson
Date: 1817 (published) Edinburgh
Dimensions: 23.5 x 21.2 inches (59.7 cm x 53.8 cm)
This lovely, hand-colored map’s projection is one of the more unusual of its time. As indicated by the title, the entire northern hemisphere is depicted. However, Thomson seems to have purposefully chosen to make Africa the primary focal point of the map entitled Northern Hemisphere.
Thomson’s depiction of North America is essentially confined to its most prominent topographical features, with the Rocky Mountains being the most prominent feature of North America, starting in Canada and extending to the very tip of northwestern South America. Other features include some major cities on the east coast, New Orleans on the Gulf, and oddly enough, Santa Fe in what is now the western United States. Major river systems are denoted, and the Great Lakes are all in place. The depiction of Baffin’s bay conveys the belief that there was no Northwest Passage.
An enormous Africa is depicted with a curious range of mountains running its entire width, starting at the western edge of the continent just south of the Sahara and extending very nearly to the Indian Ocean, where they meet with another mountain range which skirts the eastern edge of the continent from Cairo almost to the Tropic of Capricorn.
Europe seems rather small despite its inclusion of a large region of western Russia, with the major mountain ranges including the Pyrenees, Alps and Carpathians featured, along with major rivers and cities. Russia, Asia and the Arabian peninsula also depict myriad mountain ranges, inland seas and lakes, along with a scattering of place names. Deserts are also denoted. Asia consists of the Chinese Empire, Hindoostan, and the Birman Empire, along with all its great mountain ranges, deserts and river systems. Additionally, Thomson took care to illustrate most if not all the major voyages of Captain Cook.
Condition: This map is in A condition with some offsetting in the top margin.
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