Catalog Archive
Auction 152, Lot 529

"[Lot of 7] Florence. Firenze [and] Genoa (Genova.) (Genes.) [and] Milan (Milano) [and] Naples (Napoli.) [and] Parma [and] Syracuse with the Remaining Vestiges of Its Five Cities [and] Turin (Torino)", SDUK Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge

Subject: Italy

Period: 1832-40 (dated)


Color: Hand Color

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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 handsome set includes seven steel engraved plans of major Italian cities. Each shows excellent detail of the street grids, roads, important buildings, parks and rivers. The plans of Florence, Genoa and Milan all have profiles at bottom while the remaining four are decorated by attractive vignettes.

A. Florence. Firenze, dated 1835 (14.8 x 11.0").
B. Genoa. (Genova.) (Genes.), dated 1836 (14.8 x 11.5").
C. Milan (Milano), dated 1832 (15.1 x 12.6").
D. Naples. (Napoli.), dated 1835 (15.3 x 12.9").
E. Parma, dated 1840 (14.9 x 12.3").
F. Syracuse with the Remaining Vestiges of Its Five Cities, dated 1839 (15.6 x 12.8").
G. Turin (Torino), dated 1833 (14.6 x 12.3").


Condition: B+

Original color with pleasant even-age toning and a few minor spots of foxing.

Estimate: $300 - $375

Sold for: $325

Closed on 2/18/2015