"Genoa (Genova) (Genes)", SDUK Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge
Subject: Genoa, Italy
Period: 1836 (dated)
Color: Hand Color
14.8 x 11.5 inches
37.6 x 29.2 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.
This splendid 19th century bird's-eye plan of the city and port shows the harbor and the breakwaters at the entrance, and the old fortified wall surrounding the outskirts of the town itself. The plan depicts street block plans with public buildings, parks, a hospital, and the marine arsenal and locates wharves around the perimeter of the harbor's shoreline. It includes an attractive inset plan titled "Sketch of the Outworks" contained in a scroll-like border. Along the bottom are 14 elevation plans of major buildings with a lighthouse at center. Drawn by W.B. Clarke, engraved B.R. Davies, and published by Baldwin & Cradock.
Original color with minor toning and a couple of short tears and small chips in blank margins closed on verso with archival tape.