Nouvelle Carte Illustree des Iles Britanniques (Grande Bretagne, Ecosse, Irlande)


An incredible commercial overview of the British Isles from the mid-19th century.

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This conspicuous map of the British Isles was originally issued in one of the finest commercial atlases published during the 19th century, Alexandre Vuillemin’s Atlas de Geographie Commerciale et Industrielle. It shows Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and England with neatly engraved lines and national frontiers outlined in soft green color. Orange is used to distinguish the borders of the various counties, while physical divisions are described in a table below the title block.

The legend in the lower left shows the symbols used to identify a variety of industrial and commercial interests such as ports, manufacturing centers, mines of many different kinds, mineral springs, railroads, canals, and fortifications. Inset maps in the upper left include the Shetland and Channel Islands while annotations throughout the image provide additional information on major entrepots and navigational beacons.

The upper and lower borders of the map are comprised of fourteen different vignettes highlighting various commercial aspects of important counties depicted within. The illustrated scenes include bustling wharves, piles of finished goods ready for export, elegant cities, and idyllic countryside. Captions below provide data on demographics, major industries, and agricultural and mineral output. Of particular interest is the box in the lower right corner, which describes Britain’s vast overseas colonies. Included in the list of principal products is opium, guaranteed to be a profitable venture in China (with France’s help) from the recent victory in the Second Opium War (1856-1860).

The map was created by Alexandre Vuillemin and published in Paris by Charles Fatout in 1860. A litany of other individuals are credited on the sheet; including Langevin (map engraver), Mangeon (printer), Gerin (topography), Testard (illustrations), Guesnu (illustration engraver), and Lefevre (engraving?).

Map Details

Publication Date: 1860

Author: Alexandre Vuillemin

Sheet Width (in): 25.25

Sheet Height (in): 35

Condition: A-

Condition Description: Slightly trimmed edges around a margin that has become toned and brittle with age. Numerous tears and spots of separation along the centerfold have been repaired and reinforced on the verso with archival materials. The image remains very clean, with only a few small spots and one area near the bottom that shows some darkening from the plate mark. Very good overall, with attractive hand color.


1 in stock