Catalog Archive
Auction 153, Lot 590

"[Lot of 2] Plan of Ancient Rome [and] Plan of Modern Rome", SDUK Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge

Subject: Rome, Italy

Period: 1830 (dated)


Color: Hand Color

15.3 x 11.6 inches
38.9 x 29.5 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.

Pair of maps providing a great comparison of the city from ancient to modern times. Each includes a key at left and elevations of the major buildings at bottom. Drawn by W.B. Clarke, engraved by J. & C. Walker and published by Baldwin & Cradock. Size varies slightly.


Condition: B+

Original color with light offsetting and a few spots of foxing in the blank margins. The modern map of Rome has an edge tear that enters 1" into the image closed on verso with archival tape along with a few other edge tears confined to the blank margins.

Estimate: $140 - $180

Sold for: $90

Closed on 5/20/2015