Gill’s ‘Time & Tide’ Map of the Atlantic Charter


The “Time and Tide” Map of the Atlantic Charter

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Quick Description


Gill’s ‘Time & Tide’ Map of the Atlantic Charter


GILL, MacDonald


George Philip & Son

Place of publication


Date of publication

1942 [1944]



Printed Area Measurements

89 x 113.5 cm

Full Description

Pictorial world map on Mercator’s projection, 89 x 113.5 cm, printed in colours, a couple of short, closed tears, blank verso.

First published in 1942, our example bears a new copyright date of 1944 in the lower margin; a third edition, revised with a new title and a polar projection of the world inscribed ‘the United Nations’ was issued in 1948. Commissioned by ‘Time and Tide’ magazine, a British literary and political review, it is among the scarcest of Gill’s pictorial maps. Although ‘Time and Tide’ attracted well known writers it never enjoyed a wide circulation, and was heavily subsidised by its founder, the former Suffragette (and Lusitania survivor) Viscountess Rhondda. The map celebrates the joint declaration released by Churchill and Roosevelt in August 1941 after the Atlantic Conference, discussions between the two leaders held on board an American warship off the coast of Newfoundland. Both hoped to mobilise American support for intervention in the war, and while this was not immediately forthcoming the Atlantic Charter was a gesture of solidarity at a moment when Nazi Germany had just turned against the USSR and looked all but unstoppable. In time it would form the basis for Allied war aims and the postwar foundation of the United Nations. At such a dark time, Gill’s tone is resolutely optimistic, looking ahead to a world of peace and plenty – the text of the charter itself illuminates the world with its rays. In the lower left hand corner is a modern interpretation of Isaiah’s prophecy: ‘they shall beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks’. A worker takes a sledgehammer to tanks and munitions in the foreground, while in the distance is an idyllic scene of ploughing and reaping. The map is adorned with quotes by Cicero, Emerson, Pope and Aristotle on the virtues of peace, and the body of the map is given over to the world’s resources, agricultural and mineral, which could once again be used for the prosperity of mankind, distributed around the world by a network of shipping lanes. The creator of the map, MacDonald Gill, brother of Eric, was a successful commercial artist in his own right, and a noted calligrapher who designed the font used on all headstones by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. His arts and crafts style 1913 map of the London ‘Wonderground’, commissioned by Frank Pick, helped to popularise a whole new genre of pictorial map making on both sides of the Atlantic. Further work for London Transport including redesigning the map of the network in the early 1920s, and other clients included the Post office and the Empire Marketing Board.