Berkshire antique map. Steel-engraved Victorian antique map of Berkshire from ‘A Travelling Atlas of the English Counties,’ by Sidney Hall, ‘with all the Railroads, accurately laid down and the boundaries coloured.’ With reference to the County Hundreds and the country seats of noblemen and gentlemen. Published c1860 by Chapman and Hall, 193 Piccadilly, London.
Berkshire, (abbreviated Berks, in the 17th century sometimes spelled Barkeshire as it is pronounced) is a county in south east England, west of London and is one of the home counties.
Sidney Hall (1788–1831) was a British engraver and cartographer well known and popular for his early nineteenth century atlases containing maps of the United Kingdom and of the ancient world reproduced from Hall’s engravings. Hall made engravings for a number of international atlases at a time when cartography and atlases were very popular. He also engraved a series of cards for the various constellations, published c.1825 in a boxed set called Urania’s Mirror.
Steel engraving is a technique for printing illustrations based on steel instead of copper. It has been rarely used in artistic printmaking, although it was much used for reproductions in the 19th century. Steel engraving was introduced in 1792 by Jacob Perkins (1766–1849), an American inventor, for banknote printing. When Perkins moved to London in 1818, the technique was adapted in 1820 by Charles Warren and especially by Charles Heath (1785–1848) for Thomas Campbell‘s Pleasures of Hope, which contained the first published plates engraved on steel. The new technique only partially replaced the other commercial techniques of that time such as woodcut, wood engraving, copper engraving and later lithography.