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1901 Charles Baker Pictorial Map of London

The Pictorial Plan of London. - Main View

1901 Charles Baker Pictorial Map of London


London from above.



The Pictorial Plan of London.
  1901 (undated)     17 x 31.25 in (43.18 x 79.375 cm)


A striking chromolithograph Edwardian Era pictorial plan of London issued in 1901 by Charles Baker and Co. Ltd. Centered on Charing Cross, the map covers from Albert Bridge and Kensington Palace to the London Docks and Southwark Park. It extends south to the Grand Surrey Canal and north to include all of Regents Park and Kings Cross Station. The cartographer combines pictorial elements with axonometrical style mapping in which important buildings are represent from equidistant elevated perspective - similar to the great 1738 Bretez/Turgot Plan of Paris, if not on so grand a scale.
A Clothing Empire
This map was an advertising piece designed to promote Charles Baker and Co. Ltd. (1865 - 1939), prominent gentleman clothiers active in London from the mid 18th to the to the mid 20th century. They specialized in elite schoolboy clothing as well as uniforms and formalwear - including custom work. The map was sold in Chas. Baker stores as well as incorporated into their A.B.C. Guide to London. Despite large printing runs, up to 30,000, the map was ephemeral in nature and few survived.
Chromolithography is a color lithographic technique developed in the mid-19th century. The process involved using multiple lithographic stones, one for each color, to yield a rich composite effect. Oftentimes, the process would start with a black basecoat upon which subsequent colors were layered. Some chromolithographs used 30 or more separate lithographic stones to achieve the desired product. Chromolithograph color could also be effectively blended for even more dramatic results. The process became extremely popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when it emerged as the dominate method of color printing. The vivid color chromolithography produced made it exceptionally effective for advertising and propaganda imagery.
Publication History and Census
Although stated nowhere on the map, the plan was like issued by John Bartholomew and Sons, one of the premier cartographic printing establishments in London. Editions of the map date to as early as 1897, but are today uncommon on the market.


The Bartholomew Family (fl. c. 1810 - 1920) is clan of map publishers active in London through the 19th century. They represent one of the great names in British cartography. The cartographic story of the Bartholomew family begins with George Bartholomew (January, 8 1784 - October 23, 1871, active from 1797), an engraver in the employ of the Daniel Lizars firm of Edinburgh. George was the first of six generations in the Bartholomew map-making dynasty. It was his son, John Bartholomew Sr. (1805 - April 9, 1861) who ultimately founded John Bartholomew and Sons in 1828. The John Bartholomew firm produced thousands of maps and rose to become one of the largest and most prolific cartography firms in Scotland. John Sr. was succeeded by his son, also John Bartholomew Jr. (1831-93). John George Bartholomew (1860-1920), son of John Bartholomew (1831-93) took control of the firm at its height. John George was a charter member of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society and supported the creation of a National Institute of Geography - a good idea that never took off. John George is also reliably attributed to be the first to bring the term "Antarctica" into popular usage as a denominator for the Southern Continent. In recognition of his work, John George was awarded a warrant from the king and often used the title "Cartographer to the King" on his imprint. Among his friends and admirers he was referred to as the "Prince of Cartography". John (Ian) Bartholomew (1890 - 1962) continued the family business and oversaw publication of the Times Survey Atlas of the World in 1922 and the Mid Century Edition of the Time Atlas of the World from 1955 - 1960. John Christoper Bartholomew (1923 - 2008) continued the family business into a fifth generation and was fascinated by the natural sciences. He spearheaded the publication of many of the most detailed and popular maps of the last century. His brother Robert, a trained printer, became production director. Another brother, Peter, an accountant, started as a managing director and eventually became executive chairman. The John Bartholomew firm has been part of the HarperCollins family of publishers since 1989. The vast archive of maps and atlases produced by the Bartholomew family has since been transferred to the National Library of Scotland where it is currently in the cataloguing process. Learn More...


Good. Exhibits some wear on old fold lines as well as edge wear. Laid on black linen.


Hyde, Ralph, Printed Maps of Victorian London, 1851 - 1900, #254a.