Western Hemisphere Map Paperweight
John G. Bartholomew, c. 1889

This item is sold. It has been placed here in our online archives as a service for researchers and collectors.

Map paperweight
Western Hemisphere Map Paperweight
John G. Bartholomew F.R.G.S. Edinburgh: c. 1889
Transfer print ceramic
Titled on incurved side “ Western Hemisphere”
Printed signature on incurved side: J.G. Bartholomew F.R.G.S.
Circular markers cipher underside: JM & Co. (Or MJ & Co.)
Registration mark underside: Rd. Nr. 141265
3.75 inches diameter; 1.5 inches high (approximate)
Sold, please inquire as to the availability of similar items.

Colorful Western Hemisphere map printed on domed ceramic base. The base has incurved sides, repeating ribbed incised border pattern, and red line painted decorations. An unusual cartographic curiosity. The registration mark which was imprinted on most British ceramics dates the piece to 1889. This is confirmed by the National Library of Scotland in Edinburgh, which holds the archive of the Bartholomew firm, and looked up the original order for this piece in the records. The order for two copperplates was recorded on Aug 28, 1889: "Engr the reverse way for transf to pottery the 2 hemispheres World for 5 as per quote. Delivered Oct. 22 ." Therefore, this paperweight is one of a pair.

John Bartholomew & Son, Ltd. has been publishing maps and atlases from the 19th century to the present day. Its founder, John G. Bartholomew (1831-1893), was a Scottish cartographer, mapmaker and publisher. He also helped to found the Royal Scottish Geographical Society. He was trained by his father, who had a cartographical establishment in Edinburgh. After working as the assistant to the German geographer August Petermann, he took over management of his father's firm in I856. His Edinburgh Geographical Institute built a reputation in Great Britain for the production of the finest cartographical work, including a notable series of contour maps of Great Britain derived from the Ordnance Survey. After John Bartholomew’s death the firm continued to have a distinguished reputation in map publishing, receiving international recognition for their cartography for the Times Atlas (1895) and during the 20th century for The Times Survey Atlas and The Times Atlas of the World.


Jamieson, Kerr. "The Royal Scottish Geographical Society: The Society's History." Royal Scottish Geographical Society. 10 February 2003. http://www.geo.ed.ac.uk/~rsgs/history.html (3 April 2003).

"John Bartholomew." The 1911 Edition Encyclopedia. http://82.1911encyclopedia.org/B/BA/BARTHOLOMEW_JOHN.htm (3 April 2003).

Potter, Jonathan. Collecting Antique Maps: An introduction to the history of cartography. London: Jonathan Potter, Ltd., 1988 rev. 1999. pp. 191-192.

Webster, Diana, Map Collections Manager, National Library of Scotland. E-mail correspondence to George Glazer Gallery. December 2006.