Fantastic embellished map of Western Africa by one of the last truly great decorative mapmakers, John Tallis. The map shows the western part of Africa from the outflow of the Senegal River at St. Louis to the Ivory Coast and the Bight of Bonny.
The map shows towns, roads, rivers, lakes, mountains, and more, although inland detail away from trade routes is sparse. The map's vignettes show important forts in the region including Christiansborg, Cape Coast Castle, and Bakel, as well as the Sierra Leon coastline.
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 artefacts that they show.
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).