Münz-Weltkarte : Ein Schlüssel zu den Preisen der Weltausstellung.
21 x 13 in (53.34 x 33.02 cm)
1 : 120000000
A numismatic world map prepared in 1873 by August Eggers. Its production corresponded with the 1873 adoption of an international gold standard, a key event in modern economic history. The map was exhibited at the 1873 Vienna World's Fair.
A Closer LookThe world is displayed on a Mercator Projection with countries outlined in colors corresponding to which of currency types they use: gold dollars, silver dollars, pounds sterling, francs, other gold currencies, or other silver currencies. Above and below, individual countries are listed under each currency type along with their populations and conversion rates between the local currency and other nearby or major world currencies (useful for the World's Fair attendees). As can be seen from these tables, most of the world's population used silver currency at the time, though this situation would soon change.
The Search for a Gold StandardThough little known today given the global dominance of the U.S. dollar and the ever-increasing use of digital exchanges, questions of currency and exchange have been vexing governments throughout history. In the 19th-century, these concerns were informed by an increase in global trade and the greater availability of precious metals due to several gold and silver booms. In the 18th and early 19th century, efforts were made to establish a fixed exchange rate between gold and silver, as well as setting an international gold standard. The same year this map was published, such a system emerged when the German empire transitioned from a silver to gold-based currency, emblematic of a wider 'transition to gold'. The resulting fluctuations in the prices of gold and silver had powerful economic effects, making the choice of currency standard a contentious political issue throughout the world in the following years and decades.
Publication History and CensusThis map was designed by August Eggers, an expert on global currencies, and published by G. Hunckel in Bremen. It was intended for use at the 1873 Vienna World's Fair and was distributed at the fair's pavilion for world trade. We note three examples in institutional collections: at the Nationale Numismatische Collectie in the Netherlands, at the Danish Union Catalogue and Danish National Bibliography, and at the Royal Danish Library.
Good. Gold outlines present. Minor toning at fold intersections. Some light foxing present throughout. Original fold lines visible.