Interesting Victorian-era map of European colonies in sub-equatorial Africa.

The “Graphic” Map of South-Central Africa Shewing the British and German Possessions

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SKU: NL-00787 Category: Tag:
Cartographer(s): The Graphic
Date: 1890
Place: London
Dimensions: 42 x 57.5 cm (16.5 x 22.6 in)
Condition Rating: VG
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This map of Africa from the 5th parallel north to the Cape of Good Hope represents the Scramble for Africa at its height. The area has been completely divided up by European powers. Large swathes of territory are labeled Portuguese, British, and German. Congo is divided into French Congo and Congo Free State.

In the south, we see Cape Colony, the South African Republic, and the Orange River Free State, an independent Boer sovereign republic in Southern Africa during the second half of the 19th century, which ceased to exist after it was defeated and surrendered to the British Empire at the end of the Second Boer War in 1902.

In a large area of German holding (roughly comprising present-day Namibia), we see the separate coastal zone of Walvis Bay, which was occupied by the British Empire and annexed by the Cape Colony in 1884.

The Zambesi Railway is shown in progress.

Unintentionally highlighting the tragic absurdity of European colonialism in Africa is a small inset of England at scale, showing it equivalent to but a tiny fraction of Africa.


The Graphic

The Graphic was a British weekly illustrated newspaper, first published on 4 December 1869 by William Luson Thomas’ company Illustrated Newspapers Ltd. Thomas’ brother Lewis Samuel Thomas was a co-founder.
The influence of The Graphic within the art world was immense, its many admirers included Vincent van Gogh, and Hubert von Herkomer.

It continued to be published weekly under this title until 23 April 1932 and then changed title to The National Graphic between 28 April and 14 July 1932; it then ceased publication, after 3,266 issues. From 1890 until 1926, Luson Thomas’s company, H. R. Baines & Co., published The Daily Graphic.

Condition Description

Scattered foxing and wear at the margins.