Striking full-color example of John Tallis's marvelous map of Southeast Asia and the Philippines. The map, showing a massive swath of the Maritime Continent, is a prime example of this mapmaker's skills in creating items which are both attractive and informative.
The map includes decorative vignettes, typical of Tallis's style, of Victoria Mount in New Guinea, aboriginals of the area, and scenes near Sarawak in Borneo. An additional vignette shows a "bee bear," or a sun bear.
This map was engraved for R. Montgomery Martin's Illustrated Atlas. Tallis was one of the last great decorative map makers and his maps are prized for the wonderful vignettes of indigenous scenes, people, and artifacts they contain.
John Tallis (1817-1876) was a British map publisher. Born in the Midlands, Tallis came to London in the 1840s. Tallis began his London career with a series of remarkable London street views. He began a partnership with a Frederick Tallis, possibly his brother, but their collaboration ended in 1849. For the Great Exhibition of 1851, Tallis published the Illustrated World Atlas, one of the last series of decorative world maps ever produced. The maps were engraved by John Rapkin, a skilled artisan. The maps were later reissued by the London Printing & Publishing Company, who left the Tallis imprint intact, thus ensuring his enduring fame. In 1858, he began publication of the popular Illustrated News of the World and National Portrait Gallery of Eminent Personages, selling it in 1861 (it ceased publication in 1863).