John Tallis and Company was a British mapmaking and publishing firm, founded by John Tallis (1817–76), which was active in London circa 1835−60. Tallis maps were known for their accurate information with numerous place-names and geographical details, as well as for the use of shaded areas to indicate topographical features. They are identifiable by the scrolling on the borders and the finely-drawn scenes inscribed on the margins of the maps, which John Tallis and his illustrators derived from travelogues and other written sources. John Rapkin (1815−76) was the principal engraver for the firm, who drew and engraved most Tallis maps. This map of Arabia by Rapkin shows physical features, towns and villages, and caravan routes across the desert, many leading to the holy city of Mecca. The geographic extent of the region defined as Arabia is marked with a red line, and includes not only the Arabian Peninsula but parts of present-day Egypt, Jordan, and Syria. Illustrations in the four corners of the map show a camel beneath a palm tree, Arab women carrying water jars, Mount Sinai, and two Arab men, one on horseback and another on foot. The illustrations were drawn by H. Warren and engraved by John Rogers, who produced numerous steel engravings for Tallis.

Last updated: June 17, 2014