Auction 150, Lot 592

"Arabia with Egypt, Nubia and Abyssinia", SDUK Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge

Subject: Arabia & Northeast Africa

Period: 1843 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

15.9 x 13.1 inches
40.4 x 33.3 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.

This exquisitely detailed map centers on the Arabian Peninsula and extends to show the northeastern part of Africa from Egypt down to Somalia as well as part of present-day Iran. Several towns, cities, rivers, tribes, routes, and deserts are located, and there is excellent topographical detail throughout most of the map, although a large area of the peninsula is left blank, with a note explaining, "Nothing known of this coast or of the interior." The map is filled with notes providing information of interest to travelers including the type of terrain and the locations of walled cities, water sources, and ruins. Engraved by J. & C. Walker and published by Charles Knight & Co.


Condition: A

Original outline color with light toning along the sheet's edges and a few short edge tears, none of which enter the image.

Estimate: $70 - $90

Sold for: $210

Closed on 9/17/2014