Catalog Archive
Auction 196, Lot 45


"The World as Known to the Ancients", SDUK Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge

Subject: Ancient World

Period: 1842 (dated)


Color: Black & White

23.7 x 15.7 inches
60.2 x 39.9 cm
Download High Resolution Image
(or just click on image to launch the Zoom viewer)

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.

Attractive map showing the world that was known in classical times. The mapmakers used Rennell's Geography of Herodotus, as well as information from Hanno, Pliny and Ptolemy. As is the case with most maps from this series, there are numerous interesting notations that add detail to the map and are particularly illuminating for a person wishing to better understand ancient geography. Drawn by Rev. Philip Smith, engraved by J & C Walker, and published by Chapman and Hall.


Condition: A

On a bright sheet with a bit of printer's ink residue and a short crease adjacent to the bottom centerfold.

Estimate: $70 - $90

Sold for: $100

Closed on 2/7/2024