Catalog Archive
Auction 183, Lot 421

"Athens", SDUK Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge

Subject: Athens, Greece

Period: 1844 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

15.4 x 13.5 inches
39.1 x 34.3 cm
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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 nice steel engraved plan is one of the more decorative SDUK city plans, highlighting the Ancient Greek architecture. The plan centers roughly on the Acropolis and includes the Temple of Jupiter Olympius, Stadium Panathenaicum, the Gardens, the Pnyx, Mouseion Hill, and more. It details ancient walls, numerous churches, etc. At top right there is an inset of the Acropolis. Plan and elevation views along the bottom show 13 different buildings plus two large elevations of the Acropolis. There are three well-rendered panorama views of Athens at top and the sides. Drawn by W.B. Clarke and engraved by J. Henshall. Published by Charles Knight & Co.


Condition: A

Contemporary color with some binding holes and a few short edge tears across the top as well as minor toning along the sheet's edges.

Estimate: $140 - $170

Sold for: $140

Closed on 6/9/2021