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Political Case Maps of Africa

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James Wyld. "Wyld's New Map of Central Africa, Shewing All The Most Recent Discoveries & Explorations." London: J. Wyld, 1891. Separately issued, folding map: dissected into 32 sections and mounted on line. 23 x 30. Engraving. Full, original hand color. Some light surface soiling and scattered, neat manuscript notes and underlines. Very good condition and appearance. Folding into worn, original cloth covers.

From 1874 to 1877, H.M. Stanley's second expedition into Central Africa explored from the east coast, up to Lake Victoria, and then ending on the Congo. Inspired by Stanley's reports of the rich potential of this region, King Leopold of Belgium, in 1876, founded the International Association for the Exploration and Civilization of Central Africa. The Belgians were not the only European power interested in this region. The Portuguese had control of the mouth of the Congo River, with the French controlling the north side and the International Association the southern side and most of the vast interior. By 1884 the Association had become the Congo State, which the following year lost any International nature, becoming the personal possession of King Leopold. In the meantime, France, Germany, Britain, and the Portuguese jockeyed for land in the rest of Central Africa, making treaties and exerting power without much regard for native African wishes. This map shows the various spheres of control of these powers, their lands indicated with colors explained in a key in the lower left. $525

"Map of Africa, Globe Series. Compiled from the Latest and Most Authentic Sources." Chicago: Rand, McNally & Co., 1898. 47 x 39 3/8. Separately issued folding map; dissected into 25 sections and mounted on linen. Cerograph. Full original color. Original buckram end covers; two riveted holes at top edge. Some wear at folds and edges; else, very good condition.

The many colors of this map capture a continent in flux, as major European powers negotiated constantly to reconcile spheres of influence, protectorates, and colonial holdings. Differentiated on the map by hue, Portugal (purple), Germany (yellow), Great Britain (red), and France (green) spread over most of the continent. Driven by imperialist foreign policy and widespread ethnic prejudice, western Europe scrambled to gain control of Africa's natural resources and to spread its influence across the "dark continent." At the date of publication, a few states remained relatively independent (orange), like Morocco. Even this independence, though, would be short-lived: a weak hereditary ruler and ever-increasing European influence brought Morocco under French protection just a few years later. Though major explorations had ended, new travelers roamed Africa to supplement the information gathered by the original expeditions. The maps produced from their data presumably informed this map, giving it a high level of detail and rendering it suitable for classroom use. Though few national borders remain today as they were in 1898, this map retains a tremendous amount of information for modern collectors - an historic snapshot of a continent still in transition. $650

"The Crisis in South Africa. Stanford's New Map of the Orange Free State, The Southern Part of The South African Republic." London: Edward Stanford, 1900. "Second edition, with hills." Separately issued, folding map: dissected into 32 sections and mounted on linen. 25 1/2 x 37. Lithograph. Original color. Excellent condition. Folded into original cloth covers, with printed label with some slight wear.

On December 30, 1880, a Boer republic was proclaimed and fighting broke out until the treaty of Pretoria (April 5, 1881) was signed that gave the South Africa Republic independence, though under the suzerainty of Great Britain. This treaty did not really solve the problems of the area, for Kruger, the president of the republic, felt that the British were planning to annex the rich Transvaal, while the British felt that Kruger ultimately wish to drive them out of South Africa. The mistrust led to the Oct 12, 1899 declaration of war between Britain and the South African Republic and their ally the Orange Free State. This map was issued shortly after the war started. It shows the Orange Free State and the Transvaal, with the main African cities of Johannesburg and Pretoria. Detail is impressive, with the roads, towns, rivers, and railroads clearly depicted. $525

"'The Times' Map of British South Africa, the Transvaal and Orange Free State." London: The Times, 1899-1902. Fourth edition. Separately issued, folding map with original cloth cover. With four inset maps [top left and clockwise]: "Witwatersrand," "Mafeking District," "Orange Free State," and "Natal." Wax engraving, with printed color. 38 1/2 x 28 (full sheet) With "Fourth Edition." Very good condition.

This very detailed topographical map labeled on the cover as "The Times War Map of South Africa." It is scaled to British miles and is colored coded to show: British South Africa, South African Republic, Orange Free State, Portuguese Territory, German Territory, and Proclaimed Goldfields. Colored and types of lines show: railways and telegraphs, railways constructing, steamship routes, roads, and telegraph lines only. Mission stations are shown. This very detailed map illustrates contemporary knowledge of the Boer War. $525

Wood & Ortlepp. "New Map. Briton or Boer. Northern Extension." From front cover: "Special Map of the Northern Transvaal, Rhodesia, Bechuanaland & Portuguese Territory." Johannesburg & London: Wood & Ortlepp, January 1901. Copyright June 1900 by John Wood, "Compilers to Her Majesty's Forces in South Africa." Separately issued, folding map: dissected into 30 sections and mounted on linen. With original paper covers. 28 1/4 x 38 1/2. Wax engraving. Original color. Very good condition.

This map shows the northern part of the theater of war for the Boer War (1899-1902). It focuses on the northern part of Transvaal, along with the southern part of Rhodesia. It includes also the eastern section of Bechuanaland and "Portuguese Territory" to the east. The map was produced by the "compiler to Her Majesty's Forces in South Africa," so its detail is most impressive and accurate. Roads, topography, railroads, and telegraph lines are all indicated and named. $475

G. H. Johnston. "The Investors' and Newspaper Readers' Pocket Map of Africa." Title on buckram case containing a folding map of "Africa." London and Edinburgh: W. & A.K. Johnston, 1901. 28 x 36 1/2. Lithograph. Full original color. With a folding frontispiece entitled "The Possessions of the European Powers in Africa." 15 x 19. Excellent condition.

This clear and bright map illustrates Africa as carved up by the European colonial powers. The map is very detailed with the political spheres indicated with contrasting colors. Of particular interest is the folding frontispiece which lists fifty nine political entitles within Africa. Each is described with its location, population, area in square miles, and how they were acquired by Great Britain, France, Germany, Portugal, Spain, Italy, and Turkey. Four are listed as "Independent." A fascinating document of colonial land-grab in Africa. $525

"Bacon's Excelsior Map of Africa" London: G. W. Bacon & Co., Ltd., ca. 1925. Separately issued folding wall map, dissected into nine sheets and mounted on linen. 37 x 29. Printed in color. With some minor blemishes, but overall excellent condition.

A terrific post-World War I map of Africa, showing the colonial divisions in Africa about 1925 (after German East Africa was transferred to British control as the "Tanganyika Territory"). This map comes from a series of maps the Bacon firm issued on the British Empire. Throughout the continent rivers, lakes, towns and cities are indicated and named. The focus of the map, however, is on the political divisions. Each colony or nation is shown with a contrasting color and boldly labeled. This was a period when Europe still considered Africa as their economic "gold mine" and this is well reflected in this map. Transportation need to extract the resources of the continent are emphasized, with steamboat routes and railroads clearly marked. $450


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