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Tallis, John & Rapkin, John

John Tallis (1817-1876) was an English cartographic publisher. Although he only produced one atlas, he is nevertheless one of the best known and regarded of 19 th century map makers. His Illustrated Atlas of the World , published for the 1851 Great Exhibition, is regarded as the last of the truly decorative atlases, the maps prized for their ornate borders and fascinating inset vignette views. These maps, which were drawn and engraved by John Rapkin, were first brought together within The British Colonies (1849), which included many of the maps subsequently included in the Illustrated Atlas . He is also noted for his London Street views (1838-1840), which is now very hard to find. AIn 1857, he offered to purchase The Illustrated London News from Herbert Ingram. His approach was rejected, and he set up The Illustrated News of the World in competition. This proved to be an ill-timed investment which resulted in his bankruptcy in 1861, and by 1875 he was reduced to mortgaging his furniture. He traded under various names including L Tallis, Tallis and Co, John Tallis & Company, and later the London Printing and Publishing Company which also published many decorative steel engraved views and portraits featuring Tallis’s trademark decorative borders. He was born in Stourbridge, Worcestershire in 1817, and moved to London in about 1841. A blue plaque commemorates his final residence at 233, New Cross Road.