1837 "Mercator Projection" Map of the World by James Wyld

This Mercator style projection world map was published in London by James Wyld in 1837. Typical for world maps from the early 19th century, it depicts most of the world's broad geographical outlines fairly well, but with mysteries in the interior of Africa and other isolated regions.

The Mercator projection is a cylindrical map projection presented by the Flemish geographer and cartographer Geradus Mercator in 1569. It became the standard map projection for nautical purposes because of its ability to represent lines of constant course, known as rhumb lines or loxodromes, as straight segments that conserve the angles with the meridians. While the linear scale is equal in all directions around any point, thus preserving the angles and the shapes of small objects (which makes the projection conformal, the Mercator projection distorts the size of objects as the latitude increases from the Equator to the poles, where the scale becomes infinite. So, for example, Greenland and Antarctica appear much larger relative to land masses near the equator than they actually are.

James Wyld was a noted geographer and map-seller. He was the eldest son of James Wyld the Elder (1790–1836) and Eliza (née Legg). In 1838, he married Anne, the daughter of John Hester, and had two children, one of whom, James John Cooper Wyld also became a map publisher. On his father's death in 1836, Wyld became the sole owner of the thriving family mapmaking business based in Charing Cross. His maps, which covered regions as diverse as London and the gold fields of California, were regarded highly, and Wyld himself had an excellent reputation as a mapmaker; he was elected as a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society in 1839, and he was appointed Geographer to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert (as had been his father before him).

Engraved map, hand-colored in outline -- backed onto linen. The map has been artfully framed to archival standards.

Framed dimension: 35"H x 46.5"W x 3.5"D. 




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