Catalog Archive
Auction 144, Lot 204

"Genoa", SDUK Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge

Subject: Genoa, Italy

Period: 1836 (dated)


Color: Hand Color

14.6 x 11.1 inches
37.1 x 28.2 cm

The beginning of the nineteenth century saw a period of rapid market growth and innovation in the map publishing world. Increased literacy and public interest in new frontiers and colonies overwhelmed the market because it was oriented toward the small, affluent market of the previous century. With the intent to fill this void, The Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge (SDUK) was founded in 1828 in London, by Lord Brougham and a group of men dedicated to the education of the aspiring working class and the Utilitarian ideal of 'Knowledge is Power.' The society produced an array of education materials, but the series of maps was one of their most successful ventures. A number of engravers and printers were used to produce the maps, which eventually exceed 200 sheets, and continued to be published after the Society as a whole ceased to function.

A splendid 19th century bird's-eye plan of the city and port showing the harbor and the breakwaters at the entrance, and the old fortified wall surrounding the outskirts of the town itself. The plan depicts street block plans with public buildings, parks, a hospital, and the marine arsenal and locates wharves around the perimeter of the harbor's shoreline. Includes an attractive inset plan titled "Sketch of the Outworks" contained in a scroll-like border. Along the bottom are 14 elevation plans of major buildings with a light house at center. Drawn by W.B. Clarke, engraved B.R. Davies and published by Baldwin & Cradock.


Condition: A

Original color with a couple of tiny tears in blank margins closed on verso with archival tape.

Estimate: $140 - $170

Sold for: $75

Closed on 4/3/2013