Allgemeiner Hand-Atlas der Erde und des Himmels

H. Kiepert, C.F. Weiland, C. Gräf
Geographisches Institut in Weimar

Full title

Allgemeiner Hand-Atlas der Erde und des Himmels nach den besten astronomischen Bestimmungen, neuesten Entdeckungen und kritischen Untersuchungen entworfen

Very rare early edition of Allgemeiner Hand-Atlas der Erde und des Himmels, published in Geographisches Institut in Weimar. The atlas is bound in private binding (possibly original), but has been recently restored/rebound. This was undoubtedly one of the largest atlases produced in 19th century as well as one of the most detailed ones. Compared to 3rd edition of Stielers Hand-atlas with 83 maps, which was published in the same period, the atlas from Weimar had more than 2 times larger printed area (roughly 31 square meters compared to roughly 14 square meters of maps of the Stieler's). The atlas went through many revisions during 19th century and was published under several different names. The highly decorative title page of this atlas says Allgemeiner Hand-Atlas der Erde und des Himmels, although on the list of contents the atlas was titled Hand-Atlas der ganzen Erde und des Himmels. Later editions were already more unified under the name Grosser Hand-Atlas des Himmels und der Erde. Most of the maps used in this atlas were originally engraved by either Carl Ferdinand Weiland (1782-1847) or Heinrich Kiepert (1818-1899)  and many of them "revidirt" (revised) by C. Gräf in 1858-1859.

The atlas consists of 2 world maps, 40 maps of Europe, 9 maps of Asia, 7 maps of Africa, 7 maps of America, 2 maps of Australia and Oceania and 3 astronomical maps. Africa is covered quite extensively and in unusually high detail, likely due to the intensive exploration of the African inner land by Livingstone and other explorers ongoing in the 1850's. Nevertheless, large parts on some of the African maps are still completely blank, including the map of Eastern Africa, with no signs of the Lake Victoria (Victoria Nyanza), discovered just shortly before publishing of this atlas in 1858.

The map of United States shows 7 territories including Nebraska. Names of the many Indian tribes still inhabiting most of the eastern part of the US are labeled in italic. The detailed map of eastern part of the US has small inset maps of Washington, Boston, Philadelphia and New York suburban areas. An unusual map titled 'Mexiko, Texas und Californien', presumably present in the atlas due to germans' interest in Texas rooted in significant immigration wave of Germans to Texas in 1840's. It also has inset maps of San Francisco bay Area showing (projected) railways to San Jose and Marysville, inset map of central Mexican plateau and Central American republics and cross-section of Mexico from Acapulco to Vera Cruz.


The atlas is complete with all 70 maps. It is bound in (possibly) original boards covered with marbled paper. No unified binding of this atlas is known and it is likely the atlas was bound this way by it's former owner. The binding has been restored/rebound. Several maps have capital cities scribbled with pen or pencil (see photo of the map of Italy for reference) and some of the maps have also light pencil marks which can be removed. Several maps have repaired closed tears, few have edges reinforced with paper tape. Please ask for more detailed photos if interested in purchasing this atlas.

70 double paged maps
Width × Height
39 x 57
Total map area
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