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Antique Maps of the Indian Sub-Continent

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Willem Blaeu. "India quae Orientalis dicitur, et Insulae Adiacentes." Amsterdam: W. & J. Blaeu, 1640-43. 16 x 19 3/4. Engraving. Lovely, original hand color. Very good condition. Latin text on verso.

A striking map of India from a series of wonderfully decorative maps by Willem (Guilielmus) Janszoon Blaeu (1571-1638), the progenitor of the famous Blaeu cartographic firm of Amsterdam. Blaeu studied astronomy and sciences with Tycho Brahe, and in 1599 established a globe and instrument making business which soon expanded to include cartographic and geographic publishing. This firm was to go on to become the largest and most important cartographic publishing firms in the world, run by his sons Cornelis (until his death in 1642) and Joan. The maps issued by the Blaeu firm are known for their fine craftsmanship and design, and have been called "the highest expression of Dutch cartographical art." This map, with its excellent original color and clear and precise detail is a premier example of the Blaeu output. $2,800

DeWit East Indies
Frederick DeWit. "Tabula Indiae Orientalis." Amsterdam, 1662. 18 x 22 1/4. Engraving by Joannes Shuilier, 1662. Original hand color. Full margins. Very good condition. Koeman: Wit, 3 (17). Ref: Quirino, Philippine Cartography, p.84.

An updated map based on the Blaeu map of Southeast Asia. Most of the atlases by Frederick DeWit (1630-1706) were composite in nature, so they are impossible to date precisely, though this map was engraved in 1662. The map shows from southeastern Persia to northwestern Australia. Focus is on India, Southeast Asia, and the East Indies with the Phillipines. The many islands are clearly depicted, with ports shown as the most important information. The Celebes Islands were then being developed for the spice trade which would lead to hostilities among the European powers. $1,250

Emanuel Bowen. "India, as described by all Authors before the fifth century." From John Harris' Complete Collection of Voyages and Travels. London, 1748. 8 5/8 x 12 1/4. Engraving. Very good condition.

Emanuel Bowen was a map engraver, printer and publisher in London in the mid-eighteenth century. He achieved considerable success in this field, being appointed as engraver to both Louis XV of France and George II of Britain, and later as Geographer to the latter. He produced some of the most interesting maps of his time. Despite his royal appointments and apparent success, Bowen died in poverty in 1767. Through all the vicissitudes of his life, however, Emanuel Bowen's maps continued at a very high level of quality, as exemplified by this nicely detailed map of what is today Pakistan. Interior detail is good, with the focus on the mountains, rivers, and settlements. $175

Schley Ganges
Schley. "Nieuwe Kaart van het Koninkryk Bengali." Amsterdam, circa. 1760. Credited to Jacob van der Schley (1715-1779), probably the engraver as well as the designer. Engraving (hand colored). 11 x 13 1/4 (neat lines) plus margins. Slight stain on center fold, as issued. Very fine.

This is a fine, early map of the mouth of the great Ganges River. At the time of this map being printed, the European powers were rushing to establish colonies and trading posts in India as well as the rest of southern Asia. The source is probably from a French survey since the interior information is in that language, but publisher's information is in Dutch. The details are fascinating. $225

"Hindoostan with the Island of Ceylon Maldivas." London: Laurie & Whittle, Oct. 1, 1801. 10 x 8. Engraving. Original hand color. Very good condition.

In 1794, Robert Laurie and James Whittle took over Robert Sayer's important publishing business in London and continued to produce maps of the highest quality into the early nineteenth century. With access to the best geographic records and the finest craftsmen, the maps issued by Laurie & Whittle are among the best of the period. This map of India is a fine example, exhibiting surprising detail of the entire continent in a small format. Rivers, lakes and mountains are well illustrated and political borders highlighted in contrasting colors. $175

William Darton, Jr. "Hindoostan, or India." From Atlas to Walker's Geography. London: Vernor and Hood, etc., 1802. 7 1/4 x 8 1/2. Engraving. Original outline color. Stain in margin. Otherwise, very good condition.

William Darton, Sr. started his mapmaking business in 1787 in London, and thus began a cartographic publishing house that would last, in various manifestations, until the 1860s. William Darton, Jr. joined his father late in the eighteenth century and these are maps engraved by him for Walker's Geography. While not large, the maps from this atlas contain an impressive amount of detail carefully presented. The information used was the best available in London at the beginning of the nineteenth century, meaning the best in the world, so this map is not only attractive, but provides an excellent cartographic picture of the world at the time. $150

Maps by John Cary. From Cary's New Universal Atlas. London: J. Cary, 1816. Ca. 9 x 11. Engravings by John Cary. Original hand color. Most with some scattered, light foxing. Otherwise, very good condition.

A series of detailed, quarto-sized maps of all parts of the world by John Cary (ca. 1754-1835), the founder of the famous English cartographic firm. From about mid-way through the eighteenth century, British cartographers were the best in the world, and the maps produced by Cary are good examples of the quality they achieved. Rivers, towns, roads, and other information is clearly presented with very crisp engravings, and the maps have an almost three-dimensional topographical appearance. The subtle hand coloring adds a decorative touch to these fine early nineteenth century historic documents.

Cary India
John Cary. "A New Map of Hindoostan, from the Latest Authority." From Cary's New Universal Atlas. London: J. Cary, 1825. 18 1/4 x 20. Engraving. Minor wear in outside margins and along center seam. Otherwise, very good condition.

Another map by English mapmaker John Cary. This full size map of Hindoostan includes an insert of the Island of Ceylon. $450

Anthony Finley. "India." From A New General Atlas. Philadelphia: A. Finley, 1825. Small folio. Engravings by Young & Delleker. Original full hand coloring. Very good condition.

In the 1820's, Anthony Finley produced a series of fine atlases in the then leading American cartographic center, Philadelphia. Finley's work is a good example of the quality that American publishers were beginning to obtain. Each map is elegantly presented, with crisp and clear engraving and very attractive pastel hand shading. Topographical and political information is copious, including counties, towns, rivers, roads and so on. Finley was very concerned to depict as up-to-date information as was possible, and thus his maps present an accurate picture of the world in the early decades of the nineteenth century. From an excellent series of maps from the nascent American cartographic world. $65

Maps by the SDUK. London: Chapman & Hall, 1831-35. All approx. 15 1/2 x 12 1/4. Engraving by J. & C. Walker. Original outline hand coloring. Very good condition.

A group of interesting maps of regions of India by the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge (SDUK). This wonderful English enterprise was devoted to the spreading of up-to-date information and the enhancing of understanding. Here they have produced fine maps of India. These maps are fine historical documents and coupled with each other or individually, they are excellent examples of the quality of work done by the SDUK.

S. Augustus Mitchell. "Hindoostan." Philadelphia: H.N. Burroughs, 1846. 15 x 12 1/4. Lithographic transfer from engraved plate. Original hand color. Very good condition. With inset "Delta of the Ganges."

A fine map of India from the mid-nineteenth century, showing the state at an interesting period in its history. The map is filled with myriad topographical details, including rivers, towns, lakes and political borders. The map was drawn by S. Augustus Mitchell, whose firm dominated American cartography in output and influence for much of the middle part of the nineteenth century. It is obvious from the quality and attractive appearance of this map why Mitchell's firm became so important. $95

Samuel Augustus Mitchell, Jr. "Map of Hindoostan, Farther India, China, and Tibet." Philadelphia: S. Augustus Mitchell, Jr., 1860. 11 1/4 x 13 3/4. Stone lithograph. Original hand color. Decorative border.

For most of the middle part of the nineteenth century, the firm founded by S. Augustus Mitchell dominated American cartography in output and influence. This fine map is from one of his son's atlases. Geography was not only an academic requirement in schools but also a passion with the general public. $85

"Johnson's Hindoostan or British India." New York: Johnson & Ward, ca. 1862. 16 1/2 x 12 1/4. Lithograph. Original hand color. Very good condition.

An attractive map of India and major provinces from A.J. Johnson's mid-nineteenth century atlas of the world. Johnson, who published out of New York City, built a very successful business producing popular atlases, geographies and so on. This map, shows fine detail of the country is a good example of Johnson's work. $150

Church Missionary Society. "Missionary Tour in India." London: George Philip & Son, ca. 1900. Separately issued folding map mounted on linen. 25 3/4 x (assembled; 39 x 29, each sheet). Chromolithograph. With marble endpapers. Light wear at folds; otherwise, excellent condition.

Published by the Church Missionary Society, an Anglican organization founded in the midst of the Wesleyan revival of the late eighteenth century, this map highlights the missions focus that featured prominently in many Protestant churches of the nineteenth century. Produced about a century after the organization's founding, it outlines a journey presumably taken by one of its own missionaries. Beginning its outreach first in West Africa, the Church Missionary Society quickly moved into Southeast Asia, arriving in India around 1815. In addition to establishing traditional churches and bishoprics, missionaries focused on medical missions, founding hospitals all over the country. The organization continues to operate worldwide from its headquarters in London. $75

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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