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Political Case Maps of Asia

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John Cary. "A New Map of the East India Isles, From the Latest Authorities." London: J. Cary, 1801. Separately issued, folding map: dissected into six sections and mounted on linen. 18 x 20 1/4. Full, original hand color. Excellent condition.

This map was drawn, engraved and published by John Cary (fl. 1769-1836) in London for the 1801 edition of his New Universal Atlas. Amidst the turmoil of the Napoleonic wars, British Naval power was rising, and mapmaking as both art and science kept pace. Cary used existing maps and new surveys to provide his clients with the most up-to-date information on all parts of the world. Inaccuracies may be evident, but they reflect the knowledge in western Europe at the time they were made. This map shows the entire East Indies with excellent and geographically depicted detail. The original hand color adds a strong decorative appeal to this historic map. $450

George Gill, F.R.G.S. "Gill's 'Cartographic' India and Surrounding States with Railways and Border Trade Routes." London: Geo. Gill & Sons, ca. 1905. Separately issued folding map: dissected into 64 sections and mounted on linen in four parts. 78 1/2 x 58 (assembled; 39 x 29, each sheet). Chromolithograph. With marble endpapers. Some wear along folds, especially in lower quadrants; with tack holes in corners. Some light smudging; in southeast quadrant, several small smudges of blue ink (apparently printer's errors). Overall, very good condition. Click on underlined titles to view photos of: northwestern quadrant, southwestern quadrant, southeastern quadrant,and northeastern quadrant.

Brilliantly colored and sharply drawn, this map illustrates India and the surrounding region as it existed during the first decade of the twentieth century. Still occupied by Great Britain, the regions that would later become India, Pakistan, and Burma are shaded to indicate their colonial status. To the northeast, the pre-republic Chinese Empire encompasses Tibet and Mongolia, abutting the pre-Soviet Russian Empire. Between British India and Russian Bokhara (modern Uzbekistan), Afghanistan sits as a buffer for imperialist powers. Stretching along the east from the Kizyl-Kum desert to the Maldive Islands and bounded on the west by the Mekong River, this map encompasses a region on the cusp of intense change: by 1911, the Qing dynasty gave way to the Republic of China; under the wing of the newly-formed Soviet Union, Uzbekistan was formed in 1924; before World War II, Thailand would emerge from Siam; and in 1949, Great Britain ceded independence to the nations of Pakistan and India. The political bent of the map is indicated in the references section, where Gill states, "The prominence of the names indicates the comparative importance of places, either as regard population commerce, history, or strategic position." Also of considerable interest is the transportation network, including railways, canals, and "frontier trade routes." $450

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