Auction 168, Lot 716


"General Atlas Published Under the Superintendence of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge ... Vol. I", SDUK Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge

Subject: Atlases

Period: 1852 (published)


Color: Hand Color

13.6 x 16.3 inches
34.5 x 41.4 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.

This atlas compiles classic SDUK maps of Europe and Asia and includes an index. It was published by George Cox, who purchased the SDUK plates from Charles Knight in 1852. The table of contents lists 112 maps, 66 of which are included in this particular example. The maps included are the world on gnomonic projection (6); England (5); Scotland (3); ancient Britain (2); the Netherlands (1); France, modern and ancient (5); Italy, modern and ancient (6); Corsica and Sardinia, with the Balearic Islands and Malta (1); Spain (3); Portugal (1); Germany and Austrian Dominions (6); Poland (1); Scandinavia (3); Russia (1); Turkey and ancient Greece (6); Asia Minor (2); Persia, ancient and modern (2); India (11); and China (1). Hardbound in quarter leather with tips over marbled-paper covered boards and gilt titling on spine.


Condition: B+

Maps feature original outline color and are in good to very good condition with minor scattered foxing, some faint offsetting, and marginal toning. A few of the maps have short edge tears. There is light shelf wear to covers and spine. Covers have new leather tips.

Estimate: $1,000 - $1,300


Closed on 6/6/2018