Arabia, c. 1850

Arabia, Drawn & Engraved by J. Rapkin, c. 1850
John Rapkin, Author
Thomas Wright, Author
Universal Pronouncing Dictionary
colored engraving
Unrestored original condition
good original condition, original color, center fold, two small remnants of tape on reverse, original published margins
10.5 × 14 inches
Sale Status: 
For Sale

"Arabia" is fine engraved, colored print and an illustrated map with four vignettes surrounded by a decorative border that exemplifies John Rapkins' elegant and geographically detailed manner of portraying a country or region. Rapkin's drawings and engravings set the standard for illustrated maps of this era.  This example was published in the Universal Pronouncing Dictionary, a massive and elegant  undertaking that presented literature, science,history and geography to present a complete atlas of the world. This five volume work was published in London in 1850.

The vignettes surrounding the map of Arabia include Arab Women carrying large vessels on their heads, a saddled camel standing near a date palm, two robed Arab men one on horseback  carrying a spear and finally a mountainous vista of Mount Sinai with a tent and two seated figures in the foreground. The oceans surrounding the Arabian peninsula are colored with a wash of blue. Fine lettering identifies the cities around the Arabian coast as well as inland locations.  The broad swath of desert is identified as "Arabia Deserta". The area that is now Egypt is labeled Arabia Petraea.  The other labeled areas are El Jebel, El Hassa, Oman, El Hadramaut, Hejaz and El Yemen. Mountains are show with hachures and Mt. Sinai is labeled. Desert routes are indicated, as are the Anezeh Wandering tribes.  Alexandria and Cairo are also shown on the map. Irak Arabia is shown and the meeting of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. Jerusalem, the Dead Sea, Jaffa, Gaza  and Cape Carmel on the Mediterranean Sea are identified.

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