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Rare 1804 large-format A. Arrowsmith wall map of India

Place/Date: London / 1804
$6,500.
Title: To Mark Wood Esq. M.P., Colonel of the Army in India, Late Chief Engineer and Surveyer General, of Bengal, This Map of India Compiled from various Interesting and Valuable Materials Is Inscribed in Grateful Testimony of His Liberal Communications By his obedient and most humble Servant A. Arrowsmith.
Dimensions
159 x 197 cm (63 x 78 in)
Identifier
NL-00539
Coloring
Original color
Condition Rating
VG

Description

Extraordinary, detailed map of British possessions in India at the outset of the 19th century by perhaps the greatest mapmaker of his generation. The map is dedicated Sir Mark Wood, a British army officer and engineer who had a distinguished career in India, culminating in his appointment as surveyor-general in 1787 and chief engineer of Bengal in 1790.

The historical context of this map is the growing and consolidating power of the British East India Company over parts of the Indian subcontinent. From 1757 to 1858, the Company gradually acquired sovereignty over large parts of India, now called “Presidencies.” However, it also increasingly came under British government oversight, in effect sharing sovereignty with the Crown. At the same time it gradually lost its mercantile privileges. Following the Indian Rebellion of 1857, the Company’s remaining powers were transferred to the Crown.

Cartographer(s)

Condition Description

Six sheets, in three sections joined. Light browning throughout. Sheets mounted on fine Belgium linen. Original color. Excellent condition.

References

OCLC lists only three institutional examples: British Library, Harvard, and BNF.

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