Map of Asia, 1877, Mitchell
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Map of Asia, 1877, Mitchell

Regular price $140.00

This hand colored map is a steel plate engraving dating to 1877 by American mapmaker Samuel Augustus Mitchell, Junior. This decade was largely defined by famine and war in Asia. European influence was on the rise and is emphasized by the trade routes displayed on the map. Both India and China suffered from devastating famines that killed millions from 1876 to 1878. Both tragedies were largely ignored by the ruling British elite who saw it as a result of "unhealthy" environments and overpopulation. Even Japan began to abandon its isolationist policies during the Meiji Period and increased militarization. In Persia, ruler Naser al-Din Shah Qajar, who had been knighted by Queen Victoria, flatter European politicians by offering them ownership in Persian markets, resulting in protests from his people. The Ottoman Empire, which controlled large parts of both the Middle East and Europe including Turkey, fell into decline after being battered by wars that resulted in massive loss of territory for the Ottomans and independence for Bulgaria, Romania and Serbia.

Samuel Augustus Mitchell (1792-1868) turned his attention to mapmaking in the 1830s, due to his dissatisfaction with available school maps. He developed a map publishing business that would make him and later his son the most prominent American map publishers of the nineteenth century. By collaborating with prominent mapmakers and engravers of the day, such as James H. Young and Henry S. Tanner, Mitchell ensured that the maps he published were of the highest quality. During the 1850s, he partnered with Thomas, Cowperthwait, & Company to publish his A New Universal Atlas and his General Atlas. In 1860, his son Samuel Augustus, Jr, joined the company and he ensured that the Mitchell name remained an important one well into the 1880s.

Thomas, Cowperthwait, and Company was founded sometime in the early 1800s by Joseph Thomas and Hulings Cowperthwait. It operated under this name until 1853. The following year the company name changed to Cowperthwait, Desilver, and Butler. However, this configuration only lasted for about a year, before it became H. Cowperthwait & Company in 1856. After 1860, it appears the company experienced several more alterations, before ceasing publication at the end of the century.
- Onastasia Youssef

Plate Size: 14" x 11"

Condition: Excellent condition

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