Auction 165, Lot 687


"[Lot of 13] India I - XII [and] Calcutta", SDUK Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge

Subject: India

Period: 1831-42 (dated)


Color: Hand Color

See Description

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.

Complete set of 12 maps showing all of India under the Raj with the added bonus of a bird's-eye view of Calcutta. The first map is a general index map of the subcontinent, with the remaining maps covering the country in much more detail, including a very nice map of Sri Lanka along with India's tip on sheet I, and the region of Nepal on sheet X. The Calcutta city plan features three inset views showing Writers Buildings, Government House, and Esplanade Row. All the maps are crisp steel engravings with keyboard style borders. The full list of maps include:

A. India XII Index Map, dated 1835 (12.4 x 15.6").
B. India I and Ceylon, dated 1831 (13.1 x 10.6").
C. India II Madras Presidency, dated 1831 (13.4 x 10.3").
D. India III Bombay Presidency, dated 1832 (14.1 x 10.5").
E. India IV, dated 1832 (13.6 x 10.7").
F. India V, dated 1833 (11.1 x 14.1").
G. India VI, dated 1833 (14.2 x 10.3").
H. India VII, dated 1832 (14.3 x 10.4").
I. India Bengal Presidency, dated 1831 (10.4 x 13.8").
J. India IX, dated 1833 (13.7 x 10.3").
K. India X, dated 1834 (14.2 x 10.6").
L. India XI, dated 1834 (14.0 x 10.4").
M. Calcutta, dated 1842 (16.0 x 12.4").


Condition: B+

Original outline color. Most of the sheets have light toning primarily concentrated along the sheets' edges. Some of the sheets have faint manuscript notations or light spots.

Estimate: $200 - $240

Sold for: $85

Closed on 11/15/2017