Catalog Archive

Auction 156, Lot 427

"[Lot of 11] The British Isles [and] England with Its Canals and Railways [and] England I-V [and] Ancient Britain I-II [and] Liverpool [and] Birmingham", SDUK Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge

Subject: Britain

Period: 1830-42 (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 remarkable set of maps is focused on the British Isles. The lot includes a map of the entirety of the British Isles, a map of canals and railways, five regional maps, two ancient maps, and city plans of Liverpool and Birmingham. Published by both Chapman & Hall and Baldwin & Cradock.

A. The British Isles, dated 1842 (13.1 x 15.6").
B. England with Its Canals and Railways, dated 1837 (12.6 x 15.4").
C. England I, dated 1831 (12.9 x 14.6").
D. England II, dated 1831 (14.3 x 12.4").
E. England III, dated 1830 (13.8 x 10.9").
F. England IV, dated 1830 (14.8 x 10.3").
G. England V, dated 1830 (14.8 x 10.5").
H. Ancient Britain I, dated 1834 (11.8 x 14.6").
I. Ancient Britain II, dated 1834 (11.1 x 13.6").
J. Liverpool, dated 1836 (15.2 x 11.7").
K. Birmingham, dated 1839 (15.9 x 13.1").


Condition: B+

Original outline color with occasional scattered foxing and minor toning along sheet edges.

Estimate: $300 - $400

Sold for: $140

Closed on 2/17/2016