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Satirical maps of the Great War, 1914-15

In one of my first posts I covered cartoon and satirical maps in a very general way. They have a long history, reaching back to the mediaeval period if not beyond, but they gained a new currency in the mid nineteenth-century, with fine examples associated with the Crimean War and the…

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Visions of Britain 1914-15

I don’t want to repeat too much I’ve just said in my previous post (and probably a good idea to read that first), but I thought it might be fun to compare the different depictions of the British Isles. One tends to encounter the plucky bulldog of Walter Emanuel’s “Hark!…

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A Merry Christmas to Everybody!

My favourite time of year, and here’s a fine map-related greetings card for you all:   It’s in postcard form, probably taken in a French studio early in the First World War (and although the props were probably lying around there for a while, note that the model’s 1907 pattern…

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A splash of colour

Few things in my corner of the rare booktrade seem to cause as much confusion and consternation as the colouring of maps: when, by whom and why? Commercially viable colour-printing didn’t really take off until the mid nineteenth-century, and there’s a transitional period of at least thirty years or so…

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Dawn of the folding world

The presentation of maps – how they were bought and sold and how they were first used – is something I think about rather a lot (far too much?) It’s important to recall that virtually all early map-makers were businessmen first, artists and scientists second. There was little state-sponsored map-making,…

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British Map Engravers: a new dictionary

Forty copies of the new Dictionary of British Map Engravers (Laurence Worms & Ashley Baynton-Williams; Rare Book Society 2011, £125) were wheeled into my shop on Friday afternoon – after I’d explained that a forklift with a wooden pallet wouldn’t make it onto Cecil Court, let alone through the shop door!…

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