Two sheet edition of this exceptional map of South America, at the outset of its Century of Independence, without question the finest large format commercially published map of South America published in the early 19th Century.
The map is based upon original manuscript maps to His Excellency the late Chevalier Pinto and João Joaquim da Rocha, João da Costa Ferreira, El Padre Francisco Manuel Sobrevida, &c. and from the most authentic edited accounts of those countries. The geopolitical divisions would drastically be altered in the years to come as a consequence of the Independence and creation of Republics of most of South America from Spain's colonies. It is also, due to its scale, extremely detailed and includes as much up-to-date information as was by then available. The map is embellished with an enormous title cartouche on the lower right sheet.
The map is a reduced size version of Faden's 8 sheet map of South America, issued in 1807. One of the most detailed maps of this fascinating period in the history of South America, just after the continent was first swept with the Revolutionary forces which would change its history (and remove Spanish and Portuguese Colonial rule) over the next 40 years.
William Faden (1749-1836) was the most prominent London mapmaker and publisher of the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries. His father, William Mackfaden, was a printer who dropped the first part of his last name due to the Jacobite rising of 1745.
Apprenticed to an engraver in the Clothworkers' Company, he was made free of the Company in August of 1771. He entered into a partnership with the family of Thomas Jeffreys, a prolific and well-respected mapmaker who had recently died in 1771. This partnership lasted until 1776.
Also in 1776, Faden joined the Society of Civil Engineers, which later changed its name to the Smeatonian Society of Civil Engineers. The Smeatonians operated as an elite, yet practical, dining club and his membership led Faden to several engineering publications, including canal plans and plans of other new engineering projects.
Faden's star rose during the American Revolution, when he produced popular maps and atlases focused on the American colonies and the battles that raged within them. In 1783, just as the war ended, Faden inherited his father's estate, allowing him to fully control his business and expand it; in the same year he gained the title "Geographer in Ordinary to his Majesty."
Faden also commanded a large stock of British county maps, which made him attractive as a partner to the Ordnance Survey; he published the first Ordnance map in 1801, a map of Kent. The Admiralty also admired his work and acquired some of his plates which were re-issued as official naval charts.
Faden was renowned for his ingenuity as well as his business acumen. In 1796 he was awarded a gold medal by the Society of Arts. With his brother-in-law, the astronomer and painter John Russell, he created the first extant lunar globe.
After retiring in 1823 the lucrative business passed to James Wyld, a former apprentice. He died in Shepperton in 1826, leaving a large estate.