Catalog Archive
Auction 184, Lot 318

"New York", SDUK Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge

Subject: New York

Period: 1840 (dated)


Color: Hand Color

15.1 x 11.8 inches
38.4 x 30 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.

Very finely engraved town plan centered on Lower Manhattan and extending north to 42nd Street. It shows Governors or Nutten Island, and small portions of Brooklyn, Williamsburg, and Jersey City. In Manhattan the newly built Harlem Railroad is delineated. Bellevue Hospital, its associated Alms Houses, and the House of Refuge in Madison Square are identified. Gramercy Park is noted along Irving Place. There are several proposed piers in the Hudson River, of which only some were completed. A table locates and names 40 important buildings. Along the bottom are large and finely rendered views of Broadway from the Park and another of City Hall.


Condition: A

On a mostly clean sheet with some minor professional repairs in the top blank margin.

Estimate: $300 - $375

Sold for: $300

Closed on 9/15/2021