Long title: Southern Hemisphere Projected on the Plane of the Horizon of London. Copper engraving with original hand colouring: 53.1cms x 68.1cms. Image size: 509mm x 501 mm (hemisphere size) Large copper engraved hemispheric map centred on the South Pole. Cook’s tracks and voyage dates are depicted together with New Zealand, Australia (still called New Holland) and with Tasmania separated from the mainland. Philippines to the West with Malay and Sumatra and to the East, the bottom of South America and the Falkland Islands. The South Pole does not show any land and is heavily shaded, with notes such as : Firm fields and vast mountains of ice and Innumerable Ice Islands. Centrefold as issued. One small hole (large pinprick) near margin edge bottom left. Two creases at bottom - see magnified image else very good condition.
John Thomson was one of the leading exponents of the Edinburgh school of cartography which reached its zenith between 1800 and 1830. Thomson & his contemporaries such as Pinkerton and Cary redefined European cartography by abandoning such 18th century decorative elements as elaborate title cartouches and fantastic beasts in favour of detail and accuracy. Thomson’s principle works include the Thomson’s New General Atlas published from 1814 though 1827 (from which this map originates) and his Atlas of Scotland. The Atlas of Scotland, a work of groundbreaking detail and dedication would eventually bankrupt the Thomson firm in 1830. His maps are prized today for the quality of their detail, their size and the attractiveness of the original colouring.
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