Quad royal pictorial map of London, 101.5 x 126.5 cm (approx 40 x 50 inches), some light creasing and minor wear, blank verso.
The first version of this map was issued by the Southern Railway in 1938. A legend in the lower right hand part of this map notes that it is ‘based on a pre war issue, and as far as is practicable the more important details have been brought up to date’. For example the Royal Festival Hall, built for the 1951 Festival of Britain, has been added on the Southbank. The border has been completely reworked: Commonwealth coats of arms have been replaced by the coats of arms of each London borough.
London is no longer presented as the capital of Empire, instead Lee celebrates public institutions such as the BBC and the University of London. At the foot, the State Procession at the State Opening of Parliament has been replaced by the 1953 Coronation of Elizabeth II. There are numerous changes to the tiny figures which populate the map, many of them historical figures with London associations, London ‘types’ or visitors asking directions. To take just one example, the artist painting a nude model in his Chelsea studio had a blank canvas in the 1930s, but has created a Picassoesque portrait by the 1950s. Lee’s characteristic signature still appears bottom right, showing the artist seated at his easel with his dog; it differs from the 1930s version in that he has sprouted a beard and lost a red handkerchief from his coat pocket. Chromoworks also printed Lee’s ‘London, the bastion of liberty’ and other commercially available maps for Lee’s company, Pictorial Maps Ltd.