1791 Wilkinson Map of Upper Saxony, Germany
Description: This is an attractive 1791 map of Upper Saxony, in what is now Mitteldeutschland, by Robert Wilkinson. The map covers from the Baltic Sea in the north to Bohemia to the south and from Lower Saxony in the west to Silesia, Poland to the east. It notes numerous towns, cities, rivers, mountains and forests throughout. .†
The 'circles' of Germany are the 'imperial circles,' administrative units created for tax and defense purposes by the Holy Roman Empire, of which these areas were a part. The Napoleonic Wars would, of course, dissolve the Holy Roman Empire and lead to the consolidation of Germany in 1871.
In 1180 Duke Henry the Lion fell, and the medieval Duchy of Saxony dissolved. The Saxe-Wittenberg lands were passed among dynasties who took the tribal name Sachsen (Saxons) upstream as they conquered the lands of the Polabian Slavs further up the Elbe. The Polabian Slavs had migrated to this area of Germany in the second half of the first millennium A.D., and had been largely assimilated by the Holy Roman Empire by the time this map was made. Today, the German government recognizes some 60,000 'Sorbs,' or descendants of the Polabian Slavs, who have retained their language and culture.
This map was engraved by Thomas Conder and issued as plate no. 16 in the 1792 edition of Robert Wilkinsonís General Atlas.
Date: 1791 (dated)
Source: Wilkinson, R., A General Atlas being A Collection of Maps of the World and Quarters the Principal Empires, Kingdoms, etc. with their several Provinces, and other Subdivisions, Correctly Delineated, (London) 1792.
References: Rumsey 1201.018 (1794 edition).
Cartographer: Robert Wilkinson (fl. c. 1768 - 1825) was a London based map and atlas publisher active in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Most of Wilkinson's maps were derived from the earlier work of John Bowles, one of the preeminent English map publishers of the 18th century. Wilkinson's acquired the Bowles map plate library following the cartographer's death in 1779. Wilkinson updated and tooled the Bowles plates over several years until, in 1794, he issued his fully original atlas, The General Atlas of the World. This popular atlas was profitably reissued in numerous editions until about 1825 when Wilkinson died. In the course of his nearly 45 years in the map trade, Wilkinson issued also published numerous independently issued large format wall, case, and folding maps. Wilkinson's core cartographic corpus includes Bowen and Kitchin's Large English Atlas (1785), Speer's West Indies (1796), Atlas Classica (1797), and the General Atlas of the World (1794, 1802, and 1809), as well as independent issue maps of New Holland (1820), and North America ( 1823). Wilkinson's offices were based at no. 58 Cornhill, London form 1792 to 1816, following which he relocated to 125 Frenchurch Street, also in London, where he remained until 1823. Following his 1825 death, Wilkinson's business and map plates were acquired by William Darton, an innovative map publisher who reissued the General Atlas with his own imprint well into the 19th century. Click here for a list of rare maps by Robert Wilkinson.
Cartographer: Thomas Conder (1747 - June 1831) was an English map engraver and bookseller active in London during the late 17th and early 18th centuries. From his shop at 30 Bucklersbury, London, Conder produced a large corpus of maps and charts, usually in conjunction with other publishers of his day, including Wilkinson, Moore, Kitchin, and Walpole. Unfortunately few biographical facts regarding Conder's life have survived. Thomas Conder was succeeded by his son Josiah Conder who, despite being severely blinded by smallpox, followed in his father's footsteps as a bookseller and author of some renown. Click here for a list of rare maps by Thomas Conder.
Size: Printed area measures 10.5 x 9 inches (26.67 x 22.86 centimeters)
Scale: 1 : 2700000
Condition: Very good. Original platemark visible. Blank on verso.
Code: UpperSaxony-wilkinson-1792 (to order by phone call: 646-320-8650)
Tags: Wilkinson , Imperial Circles , Holy Roman Empire