From A-Z to Gay-Z

Now and again I write in the hope that one of our readers is going to be able to offer further enlightenment. Today’s topic is gay city maps, made specifically for a gay audience. As far as I know, the ‘London Gay City Map’ issued with the 1982 Spartacus International…

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Kerry Lee Revisited: cartographer, commercial artist, socialist

For the first post of 2016 I’m delighted to return to the congenial company of artist and pictorial map-maker Kerry Lee (1902-1988). Two of Kerry’s children, John and Bronwen, and John’s wife Elizabeth have all been very generous with their time and knowledge. I am also indebted to my friend…

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Kerry Lee, his dog Jim, and Dick Turpin on Hampstead Heath

Now and again the internet brings surprises of the best possible kind. In an earlier blog post about pictorial maps of London I lamented that next to nothing had been written about the artist Kerry Lee, best known as a creator of pictorial, often gently comic maps of British towns…

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Napoleon’s Abdications

This month is going to be all about Waterloo. I’m certainly expecting to see a healthy tranche of related material at this weekend’s London Map Fair. But I’m rather pleased with this separately published map we’ll have on our stand at the RGS, a broadsheet which would have been passed from…

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Provenance on maps: A Secret Map of Iwo Jima, November 1944

I’ve been writing about book provenance recently, but annotations on maps can be equally fascinating. Seventy years ago this map was used by a US artillery spotter during the battle of Iwo Jima.   The US Marine Corps bore the brunt of severe American casualties during heavy fighting in February…

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Unauthorised Mapping on the District Railway

I’m facing one of those conundrums which occur in the daily life of an antiquarian mapseller. A map I’ve never seen before, not described in any of the relevant bibliographical material, no author, no imprint, no date. Ho hum. Here it is:   It shows the District railway, and in…

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Campaign Kit for the Peninsula: Stockdale’s Map of 1812

Provenance is a much abused term, or at least it’s much misunderstood. After poring over a Speed county map in the shop people will often turn to me and ask about its provenance. Only in exceptional circumstances can one track every movement of a book or a single sheet of…

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Pictorial Plans of London: MacDonald Gill & beyond

This post is something of a work in progress, so please check back now and again to see if I’ve been able to expand it. So far I’ve tried to avoid some of the most well-known maps, but in this instance there’s no excuse for not beginning with MacDonald Gill’s…

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