“South America.” From A New and Elegant General Atlas. London: Laurie & Whittle, 1808. 9 3/4 x 7 1/4. Engraving. Excellent original color. Very good condition.
In 1794, Robert Laurie and James Whittle took over Robert Sayer’s important publishing business in London and continued to produce maps of the highest quality into the early nineteenth century. With access to the best geographic records and the finest craftsmen, the maps issued by Laurie & Whittle are among the best of the period. This map of South America contains surprisingly good detail in a small format. Rivers and mountains are well illustrated. The continent is divided into three main political spheres: the western Spanish domains (yellow), Brazil (red), and Guayana (green). Of particular note is the depiction of Lake Parima. This lake is the remnant of the mythical city of El Dorado, which was supposed to be located on this equally non-existent lake.