Rare early 2 sheet map of Australia, published by James Wyld (unjoined).
The map shows only a few of the earliest gold rush related place names. However, the list of counties in Queensland suggests a later date -- as late as the early 1870s.
The map includes several of the earliest Australian Gold Rush boomtowns, including:
- Ophir, NSW
- Castlemaine, Victoria
- Sofala, NSW
- Ballarat, Victoria
- Bungonia, NSW
The map is very rare. OCLC locates 2 copies (National Library of Australia and National Geographical Society Library (Washington, DC)).
NLA dates the map as 1872. Nat Geo dates the map as 1853-60.
James Wyld Sr. (1790-1836) was a British cartographer and one of Europe’s leading mapmakers. He made many contributions to cartography, including the introduction of lithography into map printing in 1812.
William Faden, another celebrated cartographer, passed down his mapmaking business to Wyld in 1823. The quality and quantity of Faden’s maps, combined with Wyld’s considerable skill, brought Wyld great prestige.
Wyld was named geographer to His Majesty George IV and William IV, as well as HRH the Duke of York. In 1825, he was elected an Associate of the Institution of Civil Engineers. He was one of the founding members of the Royal Geographical Society in 1830. Also in 1830, his son, James Wyld Jr., took over his publishing house. Wyld Sr. died of overwork on October 14, 1836.
James Wyld Jr. (1812-87) was a renowned cartographer in his own right and he successfully carried on his father’s business. He gained the title of Geographer to the Queen and H.R.H. Prince Albert. Punch (1850) described him in humorous cartographic terms, “If Mr. Wyld’s brain should be ever discovered (we will be bound he has a Map of it inside his hat), we should like to have a peep at it, for we have a suspicion that the two hemispheres must be printed, varnished, and glazed, exactly like a pair of globes.”