Folding pictorial map of London, sheet size 30.5 x 35.5 cm, printed in colours, one split closed on verso, folding into worn paper wrappers with image of the Houses of Parliament on the front cover and black and white central area Tube map on the back, based on the Harry Beck design used c. 1955-1960.
The fold is an unusual one, a form of Turkish fold which makes use of inclined folding lines. The map is a simplified pocket version of a railway poster which Kerry Lee drew for the Southern Railway in 1938, and which was revised for British Railways in the 1950s. Our pocket version incorporates the major changes made to the larger original, such as the Royal Festival Hall and the Coronation procession, but there is no space for figures and puns, and Kerry Lee’s characteristic signature does not appear.
Valentine and Sons was a Dundee-based publishing firm established in the 19th century, known for postcards, greeting cards and children’s books with colour-printed plates, which were sometimes produced as shape books or with moveable parts. A novel design of pictorial folding map aimed at tourists is entirely in keeping with the rest of the firm’s output. The patent appears to have been registered in 1948, but the examples we have located were published in the 1950s and 1960s. An agreement with British Railways allowed Valentine and Sons to publish simplified versions of pictorial poster maps in a vastly reduced pocket format (the originals were originally printed as 40 x 50 inch quad royal posters). As well as Kerry Lee’s ‘London Town’, the ‘uniquefold’ series also included Lee’s map of Wales and maps of Cornwall, Devon and the Lake District by John Pearson Sayer.