Catalog Archive
Auction 158, Lot 291

"France", Aleph

Subject: France

Period: 1869 (circa)

Publication: Geographical Fun Being Humorous Outlines of Various Countries

Color: Printed Color

8.1 x 9.5 inches
20.6 x 24.1 cm
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This caricature map of France depicts the country as a "hook-nosed lady" with a mirror in hand, an "empress of cooks, of fashions, and the dance." The poem beneath the map closes with this couplet: "Her flatt'ring glass declares that vict'ry, power, / Beauty, wealth, at are her imperial dower." Satirical political maps appear throughout cartographic history and gained popularity in the latter part of the nineteenth century. This is one in a series of twelve maps of Europe that depicted the political geography in human form. The idea for the maps originated from a young girl's drawings made to amuse her sick brother. Aleph, the pseudonym for William Harvey, compiled the map and wrote the verses that accompany them. According to his introduction, the illustrations were meant as a humorous, educational aid in the study of geography, rather than the political satire they became. Harvey's publication first appeared in 1869, published by Hodder & Stoughton with the maps printed by the firm of Vincent, Brooks, Day & Son.

References: Slowther (TMC-16) pp. 48-50.

Condition: B+

Light scattered foxing and minor soiling. There is a short edge tear in the bottom blank margin.

Estimate: $200 - $240

Sold for: $120

Closed on 6/22/2016