Auction 161, Lot 53

"A Map of the Principal Rivers Shewing Their Courses, Countries, and Comparative Lengths", SDUK Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge

Subject: Cartographic Miscellany

Period: 1834 (dated)

Publication:

Color: Hand Color

Size:
12.3 x 15.5 inches
31.2 x 39.4 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.

A very attractive and interesting comparative thematic chart uniquely arranged on concentric circles around a classic compass rose. The rivers are depicted with their relative distance from the sea, including an index of each river’s length in English miles. Associated towns and lakes are noted and respective countries are identified in capital letters keyed with an index at lower left. Two smaller, partial concentric circles located in the upper corners show additional rivers in the same fashion. This is a fine thematic map that utilizes a unique method to graphically compare the rivers of the world. Only the lakes are hand colored with a green wash, the balance of the map being uncolored. Published in London by Chapman & Hall.

References:

Condition: B+

Light toning primarily along sheet edges.

Estimate: $150 - $180

Sold for: $110

Closed on 2/8/2017

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