A Complete Map of the Crimea Showing the Military and Carriage Roads with Distances from Various Points of the Western Coast.
1856 (dated) 16.5 x 27 in (41.91 x 68.58 cm)
1 : 660000
This is a scarce map of the Crimean Peninsula by little known American map publisher Charles Desilver. It depicts the Crimean Peninsula during the Crimean War. This highly detailed map notes military and carriage roads throughout with distances. Towns, fortifications, lighthouses, postal stations, as well as topography are shown. An inset in the top right quadrant features the relative position of Crimea with the seat of war. Another inset in the lower right quadrant features the Sebastopol Harbor.
Sebastopol's place in history was cemented during the Crimean War. Seeking to punish Russia for its imperialistic designs on the Balkans Napoleon III and his allies, the English and Turks, invaded the peninsula, quickly taking Balaklava. The high point of the war was the legendary and disastrous 'Charge of the Light Brigade' wherein an entire British Calvary unit charged to its death against a fortified Russian position.
The plate was originally published by Samuel Augustus Mitchell, who sold the copyright to Thomas, Cowperthwait and Company in 1850. Charles Desilver in turn bought them in 1856. This map was issued in the 1856 edition of Desilver’s New Universal Atlas.
Charles Desilver (fl. c. 1850 - 1862) is a little known American map published active in the middle part of the 19th century. Desilver began is cartographic career as a partner in the Thomas Cowperthwait Company, the publisher of S. A. Mitchell popular New Universal Atlas. In 1856 Desilver acquired Mitchell's copyrights and print plates and began to issue his own variant of the New Universal Atlas. Desilver altered Mitchell's maps only slightly; adding a new grillwork border, his own color scheme, new titles, and some updated political data. Despite a noble pedigree, Desilver's maps did not sell well - possibly because they followed the long and very popular run of Mitchell's own atlases. Desliver continued to publish his atlas until 1859 (though we have heard that he also published an 1862 edition). In 1859 he resold the Mitchell copyrights and printing plates to S. A. Mitchell's son S. A. Mitchell Jr. The younger Mitchell again updated the plates with own border and color scheme and began publishing his own successful atlas in 1860.
Desilver C., A New Universal Atlas Containing Maps of the various Empires, Kingdoms, States and Republics Of The World (Philadelphia), 1856.
Very good. Minor wear and toning along original centerfold. Minor foxing.