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Antique Maps of Arabia & Persia


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Ptolemy: Persia
Claudius Ptolemy. "Tabula Asiae V." [Persia] Venice: Vincenzo Valgrisi, 1561. 7 3/8 x 10 1/4 (plate mark). Engraving. Full margins. Very good condition.

Another example of the Ptolemaic map of Persia as understood to the ancients. This was issued in an excellent Italian edition of Ptolemy's Geographia, which included both Ptolemaic and modern maps of the regions of the world. The good detail of this map is a result of the information gleaned from the many traders crisscrossing this region during Ptolemy's day. $150



Girolamo Ruscelli. "Persia Nuova Tabula." Venice: Giordano Ziletti, [1561]-1574. 7 x 9 3/4. Engraving. Several small perforations along center fold. Else,very good condition. Denver.

An impressive map of Persia early in the reign of Shah Abbas I (1571-1629). The Safavid dynasty had unified the Iranian plateau and brought the region back to a period of influence and wealth. It reached its height under Shah Abbas I, who developed contacts with Europe and made his capital, Isfahan, into one of the great cities of the world. Many nations had envoys in Abbas' court and foreign trade prospered under his reign, so a map of Persia would have been of great interest to Europeans when this map was issued. It shows a basic outline of the rivers, lakes and mountains of Persia and the surrounding lands, and also lists the major settlements throughout the region. $185



Porro Asia V
Girolamo Porro after Giovanni Magini. "Tabula Asiae V." [Persia] From Geographiae Universaetum Tum Veteris Tum Novae. Cologne: Peter Keschedt, 1597. 5 1/2 x 7. Engraving. Very good condition.

From a strongly engraved map from Magini's edition of Ptolemy's Geography. The map was drawn by Porro, probably under the direction of Magini. A number of the maps from this work were based on Ptolemy's conceptions from the second century, and these are generally recognizable by the trapezoidal border. This is the Ptolemaic map showing the region of present-day Iraq and Iran. While somewhat distorted, the information is surprisingly good for towns and rivers, mostly due to information gathered from those plying the trade routes that passed through these lands. $90



Senex: Turkey, Arabia and Persia
John Senex. "A Map of Turkey, Arabia and Persia. Corrected from the latest Travels & . . . Observations of ye Royal Society . . .." From A New General Atlas. London: J. Senex, 1721. 18 x 22. Double folio. Engraving (outline color). Full margins. Original outline color. Excellent condition.

A large and attractive map of the Middle East based on the original map by the French geographer Guillaume Delisle and revised by John Senex. An equal wealth of information is illustrated in southern Europe and north Africa. The title is framed by an exquisite cartouche decorated with images of the Muslims who inhabit these lands. A fine document. $1,200



Rigobert Bonne. "Carte de L'Arabie qui se divise en Arabie Pétrée, Deserte et Heureuse." From Atlas Moderne ou Collection de Cartes sur toutes les parties du Globe Terrestre. Paris: Jean Lattré & Delalain, 1771. Engraving. 12 x 18. Original hand color. Excellent condition.

Rigobert Bonne (1727-1795) produced a large number of atlases and charts, and his maps also appeared in Lattré & Delalain's Atlas Moderne. Maps from this atlas used information compiled from 1762 until 1775. This map depicts a very accurate image of Arabia near the end of the eighteenth century. Settlements, especially near the coast, are noted, and a rough indication of mountain ranges is given. A finely etched title cartouche graces the top right corner, which combined with the lovely pastel color makes this a charming as well as interesting map. $350



Kitchin: Persia
Thomas Kitchin. "New Map of Persia Divided into its Provinces from the latest Authorities By T. Kitchin Geogr. Hydrographer to his Majesty." From George H. Millar's New and Universal System of Geography. London: A. Hogg, 1782. 15 x 13 1/2. Engraving. Some light stains at edges; else very good condition. Denver.

A detailed map of Persia by one of the leading English cartographers of the late eighteenth century. Beginning about 1750, the British began to establish themselves as the leading world power, and this is partly reflected in the simultaneous rise to cartographic dominance. Thomas Kitchin, (1717-1784) was one of the most prolific and popular cartographers in the heyday of British map making, and his maps are noted for their clean engraving and excellent detail. This map encompasses today's Iran and Iraq, and extends as far north as the northern end of the Caspian Sea. Much detail of rivers, towns, trails, and the like is included. Political divisions are named and deserts noted. Decorating the title cartouche in the upper right corner is a Persian figure and various rococo decorations. This map is typical of Kitchin's work, and gives us a good picture of the European understanding of Persia near the end of the eighteenth century. $175



Cary Persia
John Cary. "A New Map of Persia from the Latest Authorities." London: J. Cary, 1801. 18 x 20 1/4. Engraving. Full original hand color. Very good condition.

A detailed map of Persia, produced by London map-maker John Cary and issued a few years before Mohammed Ali became governor of Egypt. This was a period of intense British interest in the region, mostly as the result of their conflict with France. It is thus not surprising that Cary's maps are very detailed, for he was one of the leading British cartographers of the time. The map illustrates the region from the eastern shore of the Black Sea in the northwest, to the Indus River in the east. The individual provinces or states are indicated and their borders delicately outlined with hand color. $425



Cary 1816 Persia
John Cary. "Persia." From Cary's New Universal Atlas.
London: J. Cary, 1816. 9 1/8 x 11 1/4. Engraving. Original hand color. With scattered, light foxing. Otherwise, very good condition.

From another series of detailed maps by John Cary. Though on a smaller scale, the detail is just as abundant as Cary's earlier edition. By 1816 (the year of this map's publication), many of the boundaries and territories had changed as is indicated by the contrasting pastel coloring. Rivers, towns, and other topographical information, are also clearly presented with very crisp engravings, giving an almost three-dimensional appearance. $250



Aaron Arrowsmith. "Arabia." Edinburgh: A. Constable & Co. and London: Longman & Co., 1817. Ca. 8 x 9 1/2. Engraving by Sidney Hall. Original outline color. Very good condition. Denver.

Perhaps the greatest commercial cartographer of the early twentieth century was Aaron Arrowsmith. His maps were the "gold standard" of the period and were used by many publishers. This map of Arabia came from a quarto-sized atlas jointly published in Edinburgh and London in 1817. It shows Arrowsmith's careful work and is beautifully engraved and colored. $175



G. Long, M.A. "The Eastern Part of the Ancient Persian Empire." London: SDUK, 1831. 11 1/2 x 14 1/8. Engraving by J. & C. Walker. Original outline hand-coloring. Stain in lower left corner. Otherwise, very good condition.

A detailed and precisely drawn map of Ancient Persia issued by the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge (SDUK). This wonderful English enterprise was devoted to the spreading of up-to-date information and the enhancing of understanding. The Society's maps are known for their accuracy. This map, drawn by G. Long, Professor of Greek at London University, is typical of their output. It is a precise cartographic document that is a splendid example of the best scientific work of the era. $50



Lothian Persia
John Lothian. "Persia." From New Edinburgh General Atlas . Edinburgh: J. Gellatly & London: Henry Washbourne, ca. 1840. 10 x 12 1/2. Engraving. Original hand color. Very good condition.

A pair of lovely and well produced map from John Lothian's New Edinburgh General Atlas. Published jointly in London and Edinburgh, this atlas contained maps with very good detail of towns and cities, river and lakes, orography, and political divisions. In this period, the United Kingdom had established itself as the dominate economic and cartographic nation and the maps from this atlas bespeak the quality of British mapmakers. Each map is finely hand colored, making them as attractive as they are historically interesting. $125



J. Dower. "Persia and Arabia." From A New General Atlas of the World. London: Henry Teesdale & Co., 1842. 13 3/8 x 16 1/2. Engraving. Original outline color. Very good condition. Denver.

A handsome map of the Middle East by British publisher, Henry Teesdale. This map is typical of British mapmaking during the Victorian age. John Dower's concise engraving presents the standard topographical information with elegance and clarity. $165



Carey & Hart: Persia and Arabia
Henry S. Tanner. "Persia Arabia &c." From Tanner's New Universal Atlas. Philadelphia: Carey & Hart, 1843. 11 1/4 x 14. Engraving by W. Haviland. Full original hand coloring. Very good condition.

An excellent map of the Arabian peninsula and neighboring Persia by the great American cartographer, Henry Schenck Tanner. In 1816, Henry, his brother Benjamin, John Vallance and Francis Kearny formed an engraving firm in Philadelphia. Having had experience at map engraving through his work with John Melish, Tanner conceived of the idea of compiling and publishing an American Atlas, which was begun in 1819 by Tanner, Vallance, Kearny & Co. Soon Tanner took over the project on his own, and thus began his career as cartographic publisher. The American Atlas was a huge success, and this inspired Tanner to produce his Universal Atlas, of more manageable size. This atlas contained excellent maps of all parts of the world. All details are clearly presented, and these include towns, rivers, mountains, political boundaries and the transportation information. In 1844, Carey & Hart issued an edition of the atlas, from which this map comes. Maps from the early Tanner/Carey & Hart edition are very rare. This map is typical of the Tanner maps, and showing Persia and Arabia at an interesting period of their history. $150



S. Augustus Mitchell. "Persia & Arabia &c." From New General Atlas. Philadelphia: S. Augustus Mitchell, 1847. 12 1/4 x 15. Lithograph transfer from engraved plate. Original hand color. Very good condition.

A beautifully crafted map of the Middle East from the mid-nineteenth century. Published by one of the leading U.S. cartographic firms of the period, it is an excellent example of American mapping at an important time in the development of the area. No roads are shown, but details of towns and topography is excellent. The political divisions in Persia are shown with contrasting pastel shades, and the country extends from Azerbaijan in the northwest to the Indus River in the east. $85



Dower Persia
John Dower. "Iran or Persia." London: Orr & Co, ca. 1848. 8 1/4 x 10. Engraving by J. Dower. Original outline color. Very good condition.

Another detailed map by the English engraver John Dower. Titled as both Persia and the traditional name, Iran, this lovely little map also has a sea level table chart along the bottom of the image. $75



"Persia, Arabia &c." New York: J.H. Colton & Co., 1856. 12 1/2 x 151/2. Lithograph. Original hand color. Very good condition. Denver.

In the mid-nineteenth century, the center of map publishing in America moved from Philadelphia to New York. The J.H. Colton publishing firm played a large role in that shift, producing crisp, clean maps like this one of the Middle East. $150



"Map of Persia, Turkey in Asia, Afghanistan, Beloochistan." From Mitchell's New General Atlas. Philadelphia: S. Augustus Mitchell, Jr., 1866. 11 3/4 x 9 1/4. Lithograph. Original hand-coloring. Very good condition.

Though the center of American publishing moved from Philadelphia to New York around the middle of the nineteenth century, S. Augustus Mitchell's firm, run by his son of the same name, continued to issue excellent and popular maps and atlases. This image, with its typical Mitchell decorative border, is a good example of the output of the firm. Interestingly, only one road runs through Persia (from the coast to Teheran). The political divisions within the region are also indicated with bright outline and body color. Also included is a detailed insert of the Holy Land. This map depicts as current topographical information as was available at the time. $65



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