|Method||Steel engraved with original hand colour|
|Artist||Johnston, William and Johnston, Alexander Keith|
|Published||W. & A.K. Johnston, Edinr. William Blackwood & Sons. Edinburgh, & London. [c.1850]|
|Dimensions||210 x 268 mm|
A detailed mid-nineteenth century map, showing the supposed ethnographic distribution of the planet, published by William Blackwood for W. & A.K. Johnston's Physical Atlas of Natural Phenomena. The map is colour coded in original wash colour, corresponding to the prevailing ethnographic theories of the era and dividing humanity into five main 'races,' most of which are then further subdivided into various racial groups. Within each racial grouping, further geographical or cultural divisions are also plotted. In the bottom right corner, an inset map provides an enlarged map of Europe, divided into the various ethnographic groups which were believed to make up the Indo-European or 'Caucasian' race. Beside this, an illustration of three human skulls is intended to illustrate the supposed differences between the three main races of humanity (Caucasian, Mongoloid, and Negroid), which derived ultimately from the theories of Johann Friedrich Blumenbach and the Göttingen School in the late 18th century.
W. & A.K. Johnston was one of the major publishing houses of the 19th century. Founded by William and Alexander Keith (1804-1871) Johnston, they apprenticed under the Scottish publisher and globe maker James Kirkwood in Edinburgh. They later went on to establish their own business in the city, expanding their output into not only maps, but atlases, guide books, globes and educational posters. Alexander's son, also called Alexander Keith Johnston (1844-1879), continued the business, as well as authoring various geographical works of his own. The business continued to publish material under the Johnston name until the 1960s.
Condition: Minor time toning to edges of sheet. Chipping and printer's creases to top margin, not affecting map. Minor foxing to margins. Blank on verso. Includes three double-sided sheets of accompanying descriptive text.