Catalog Archive
Auction 189, Lot 93

"North America", SDUK Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge

Subject: North America

Period: 1845 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

12.6 x 14.9 inches
32 x 37.8 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 is later edition of this detailed and finely engraved map that portrays an Independent Texas, with Mexico controlling Nueva California. The boundary between Canada and the United States is depicted along the Columbia River, although the colorist on this example adheres to the present-day border. Filled with well-developed topography, the map names numerous forts, trading posts, and Indian tribes. The course of the Snake River is fairly accurate. The Great Salt Lake is named. The map locates the 3 Butes, important landmarks on the Oregon Trail, in present-day Idaho. Lake Michigan retains its erroneous elongated shape. Distance scales outside of border give English Miles and Spanish Leagues. Engraved by J. & C. Walker and published by Charles Knight.


Condition: A

Issued folding, now flat, with minor soiling.

Estimate: $130 - $160

Sold for: $170

Closed on 9/14/2022