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Decorative map of Peru and Bolivia, published in London by John Tallis. The map was engraved for R. Montgomery Martin's Illustrated Atlas.

The map includes vignettes showing cities of Tarija, Lima and Potosi, with fine perspective on these South American cities' buildings. Also shown are the swimming couriers of Peru, based on accounts provided by Humboldt in the early 19th century.

The two countries shown have borders almost unrecognizable when compared to the present. Bolivia reaches the coast in the Atacama region, while Peru controls the Tarapaca Province. This results in a much stumpier Chile (not shown), despite its being the most stable state in the region. This configuration would be resolved by the War of the Pacific and the Boundary Treaty of 1881, leading to the elongated shape we see today.

Tallis was one of the last great decorative map makers. His maps are prized for the wonderful vignettes of indigenous scenes, people, and artefacts they preserve.

John Tallis Biography

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).