Catalog Archive
Auction 166, Lot 34

Very Rare, Missionary Map of the World on Cloth

"Missionary Map of the World Showing the Prevailing Religions of Its Various Nations and the Central Stations of All Protestant Missionary Societies",

Subject: World

Period: 1906 (circa)


Color: Printed Color

80.1 x 44.4 inches
203.5 x 112.8 cm
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This very large, double-hemispheric, thematic map of the world was printed on four joined sheets of linen. It was likely used as a presentation piece that had the benefit of being both large and portable. The map locates the cities where there are protestant missions, and it is color-coded to show various religions. Tonal shading reveals the relative concentrations of each group (Protestants, Greek & Eastern Churches, Jews, Catholics, Muslims, and Heathens). The Heathens are shown throughout much of the world and are by far the largest group at 845 million, compared to 749 million for the religious groups combined. A note above the map at top left encourages the reader to "Go Ye Into All the World and Preach the Gospel to Every Creature." The bottom corners of the sheet show populations by country.

Joseph Hutchins Colton first produced a missionary map in the mid 1840s, but apparently the plates were destroyed. In 1878, G.W. and C.B. Colton produced another version of the map based upon more recent missionary information, and then published another edition in 1892. August R. Ohman & Company took over the Colton firm in 1893 and published this reduced version of the map in 1906. A slightly altered version appeared again in 1916. OCLC locates only two institutional copies of the Ohman version of the map, and there are no dealer/auction listings in the last 30 years.

References: cf. Phillips (Maps) p. 1110.

Condition: B

Considering its size and intended use, the map is in good to very good condition. There is scattered staining, especially at lower center just below the two hemispheres. There are tiny holes in the cloth in southern India and southern Australia, and the cloth is frayed mostly along the left and bottom blank margins and just touching the border in two places. The color in the western hemisphere has faded more than the eastern hemisphere, likely due to sun exposure.

Estimate: $2,000 - $2,500


Closed on 2/14/2018