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Italy Antique Map by Keith Johnston FRSE. c1861

Italy Antique Map by Keith Johnston FRSE. c1861


by Johnston, W. & A.K.

Antique Map of Italy with a wonderful lot of geographical detail by Queen’s geographer, Alexander Keith Johnston (1804-1871), F.R.S.E. (Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh). Engraved on steel by W. & A.K. Johnston of Edinburgh for Keith Johnston's The Royal Atlas of Modern Geography, published by William Blackwood and Sons of Edinburgh and London, circa 1861 with contemporary outlining (from time of publication).

William Johnston (1802-1888) started as an engraver and printer in 1825 at 6 Hill Square in Edinburgh, and founded the family publishing firm of W. & A.K. Johnston, which moved to 160 High Street in 1826, St Andrew Square in 1837, and to Edina Works, Easter Road, in 1879. In 1932 Sir William Johnston was appointed Lord Provost of Edinburgh, convenor of the City of Edinburgh local authority.

In 1826 William’s younger brother (Alexander) Keith Johnston (1804-1871) joined him in the family publishing house. Being particularly interested in physical geography, after university Keith Johnston trained with international geographers, including Alexander von Humboldt. In 1841 his first atlas National Atlas of General Geography was published, resulting in his 1843 appointment as Geographer Royal for Scotland. He adopted the title of “Geographer at Edinburgh in Ordinary to the Queen”.

In 1848 William Blackwood & Sons published Keith Johnston’s graphically magnificent Physical Atlas, with engravings illustrating all aspects of comparative life and geography around the world. A larger edition was published in 1856. In 1850 Johnston’s Dictionary of Geography was published, and in 1855 Keith began The Royal Atlas of Modern Geography. His popular Royal Atlas was updated and revised and reissued many times until 1897.

Keith Johnson’s son, also named Alexander Keith Johnston, (1844-1879) was an explorer and geographer, who died in Africa while leading a Royal Geographical Society expedition to Lake Nyasa. He also published a number of geographical works. The successful publishing house of W. & A.K. Johnston continued for over 100 years.

Approximate Size 470 x 370mm (18 x 14.5 inches). Our scanner is not large enough to show the complete map. There is slight soiling across the region of the central horizontal fold, but we assure you it has complete margins, as published. Please email us at if you would like further images.


Stock Number: amKJ12Price: $150.00