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Beck’s 1939 Double-Crown Station Map

SKU: 9345
£5,000.00

Title:
Beck’s 1939 Double-Crown Station Map

Date of publication:
1939

Printed Measurement:
60 x 74.5 cm

Publisher(s):

  • Waterlow & Sons Ltd
  • Colour:
    original

    Mapmaker(s):

  • Henry Charles Beck
  • This one’s faded, but even so.

    An early edition of Harry Beck’s London underground famous diagram in poster form for display on station walls, printed in just 2000 examples, and showing the proposed Northern Heights extension and other elements of the 1930s New Works Programme.

    The map shows the completed Northern Line extension from Archway to East Finchley, hence a note in very small print beneath the print code: ‘from July 1, 1939’. Beck's map had first been revealed to the public in January 1933 in the form of a passenger map (a small tri-fold map, much like the ones given away in stations today). Prior to this, maps issued by the Underground Group had been more or less geographical, although a strong design tradition evolved from the Edwardian era onward. A milestone in the mapping of the Tube, Beck's radical design was welcomed by the (often conservative) British public, and as a consequence it made its debut as a quad royal poster (40 x 50 inches) for station display in March 1933. A double crown map followed in the Summer. As poster maps such as this one were never intended for distribution to the general public, the survival rate is extremely low. Most were displayed, and were then pasted over, scraped off walls or simply discarded when they became obsolete.

    Condition & Materials

    Double crown station wall map, 60 x 74.5 cm (approx 24 x 30 inches), printed in colours, restoration to a couple of marginal nicks, light waterstaining visible below the key and the roundel; now heavily faded, with the blue of the border and the Piccadilly Line the most seriously affected (almost blue-grey on this example), blank verso.