Hollar’s Hull
By Tim / 07/11/2012

I’m often asked how maps were printed in the hand-press period. And the (short) answer is that that between the late fifteenth and the early nineteenth-centuries, the finest results were obtained by taking impressions, one at a time, from etched and/or engraved metal plates, which were usually made of copper. The next question, sometimes, is…

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“They cut his throat from ear to ear”: crime maps
By Tim / 05/11/2012

“They cut his throat from ear to ear, his head they battered in; his name was Mr William Weare, who dwelt at Lyon’s Inn.” This well-enough known fragment of doggerel has been inscribed in an early hand at the back of one of my Chelsea bookfair purchases, an 1824 first edition of George Henry Jones’…

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A devotional map of Saint Barbara’s island
By Tim / 10/09/2012

I’ve never seen a map quite like this before. It’s on a small vellum leaf (13.5 x 8.5 cms) which has been pierced with great intricacy to create a lace-like effect; the hand is eighteenth-century and southern European, possibly Spanish. Saint Barbara watches over her island: a fanciful depiction of the coastline forms a cartouche…

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A true original: comic map of Europe, 1854
By Tim / 21/07/2012

In previous posts I’ve mentioned that there was an early flowering of cartoon and satirical maps during the Crimean War, but they rarely turn up and so I was delighted to acquire this example:   “Done by T.O.” which I think we can reveal with some certainty to be Thomas Onwhyn, and published by Rock…

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Map cover art
By Tim / 29/06/2012

Have you ever bought a map for its cover? I’m not immune to vintage marketing, and I’ve bought one or two really dull maps because the cover design was simply irresistible. There are one or two map series with uniform (and uniformly tedious) cover art, but often just as much thought went into the design…

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London Map Fair 2012
By Tim / 28/06/2012

This year’s London Map Fair took place at the Royal Geographical Society on June 16th and 17th. If you follow my Tweets and Facebook ramblings (or spotted my name on the London Map Fairs website) you’ll know that I’m one of fair organisers, along with fellow mapsellers Massimo de Martini and Rainer Voigt. It’s the largest…

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The dollar octopus, 1942
By Tim / 25/06/2012

High time for another cartographic cephalopod. This one by Dutch artist Louis Emile Manche (1908-82) arrived in the shop just too late for this year’s London Map Fair, but I’m still pleased to have located an original example. Compare and contrast with Pat Keely’s Japanese octopus, made to boost morale among the Free Dutch in…

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Break out the bunting!
By Tim / 26/05/2012

Republicans should look away now (unless a fondness for bunting and street parties outweighs any qualms you may have; if that’s the case, you can still skip to the end of the post, and I’ll throw in a map with republican connotations just for you). As this is the first Diamond Jubilee in 115 years…

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Battles of the Atlantic, 1914 and 1943
By Tim / 31/03/2012

The Atlantic was a key theatre in both world wars. The German aims were the same in 1914 and 1939: to sever Britain’s supply lines from North America without bringing a neutral United States into the war. These propaganda maps cover the two campaigns, from a German and British perspective. In 1914 submarine warfare had…

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The view from Japan, 1904
By Tim / 08/03/2012

A very scarce satirical map, and one which I anticipate will be passing through my hands pretty quickly. However, as temporary custodian I can’t resist sharing it. It’s a delight.   Cartoon or satirical world maps are an unusual form in general, and only one institutional example of this particular map has been located (the…

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