Catalog Archive
Auction 185, Lot 660


"China and the Birman Empire with Parts of Cochin-China and Siam", SDUK Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge

Subject: China, Korea, & Mainland Southeast Asia

Period: 1834 (dated)


Color: Hand Color

14.6 x 12.8 inches
37.1 x 32.5 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 map shows excellent topographical and political detail. It covers the area from the Great Wall of China (annotated "1500 miles long, 15 to 30 feet high, and 30 feet wide on the top") and the "Kingdom of Corea" in the north; the northern Philippines and Formosa at the southeast; to Vietnam, Thailand, and Burma in the southwest. Published by Baldwin & Cradock.


Condition: A

Contemporary color with a couple faint spots, otherwise fine.

Estimate: $80 - $100

Sold for: $46

Closed on 11/17/2021