Plan of Shanghai Published under Authority of the Municipal Council. 1923
1923 (dated) 28.5 x 74 in (72.39 x 187.96 cm)
1 : 12000
An extremely rare and important 1923 large format map of Shanghai issued by the Shanghai Municipal Council. The map is enormous and extends from the Huangpu River westward as far as the Tianshan Road Residential District. It is in this area that several proposed roads were added in manuscript by a civil engineer working with the council. The additional roads, all of which were ultimately constructed, include: Monument Road, Pearce Road, Lincoln Avenue, MacLeod Road, Jernigan Road, Fraser Road, Keswick Road, Columbia Road, Jordan Avenue, Fawwah Road, and Tunsin Road. This map was issued for the Shanghai Municipal Council by Waterlow and Sons of London.
Waterlow and Sons (1810 - 1961) was a British engraving and printing concern active in London specializing in currency, postage stamps, bond certificates, and occasionally maps. The firm was founded by James Waterlow (1790 - 1876) in 1810 on Birchin Lane, London, as a legal document printer and copyist. By 1852, they had expanded into stamps and his sons, Albert, Alfred, Sydney, and Walter joined the business. One year after James Waterlow's death, in 1877, infighting among the sons led Alfred Waterlow to split off, forming Waterlow Brothers and Layton. The rift was settled by 1920, and the two firms once again merged under the Waterlow and Sons imprint. They were involved in the Portuguese Bank Note Affair of 1925, wherein the Portuguese fraudster Artur Virgílio Alves Reis convinced the firm to print 200,000 banknotes of 500 Portuguese Escudos each, amounting to roughly 88% of Portugal's GDP. The affair was settled in court with a ruling against Waterlow. In 1928, Waterlow lost its most lucrative contract, printing English banknotes, and began to fall into decline. In 1961, they were acquired by Purnell and Sons who, shortly afterwards, sold the firm to De La Rue. Ironically, De La Rue acquired the contract to print Bank of England banknotes again in 2003 – 75 years after Waterlow lost it!
Shanghai Municipal Council (July 11, 1854 - 1943) was an organization of businessmen leaders in Shanghai active from middle part of the 19th century to the early 20th century. The organization was formed on July 11, 1854 by a group of influential western businessmen who argued that Shanghai suffered under a lack of proper municipal governance. It laid down land regulations and began to assist in the construction of new roads, established refuse collection, and even initiated taxation. By the late-1860s Shanghai's official governing body had been practically transferred from the individual concessions to the Shanghai Municipal Council (工部局). The British Consul was the de jure authority in the Settlement, but he had no actual power unless the ratepayers (who voted for the council) agreed. Instead, he and the other consulates deferred to the Council, which was made of 9 figures, 5 from the British Settlement, 2 form the American Settlement, and 2 from the Japanese Settlement. No Chinese were permitted to serve on the council until 1928. By the 1880s the council acquired a virtual monopoly over city utilities, controlling gas-suppliers, electricity producers and water-companies. Later, in the early 20th century, they also took control of rickshaws, tramways, and regulated opium sales and prostitution. The council maintained its own police force, fire service, and military reserve, the Shanghai Volunteer Corps (萬國商團). The Municipal Council was disbanded in 1943, in World War II, when the Japanese closed all foreign concessions (except the French).
Very good. Original linen exhibits minor repairs. Manuscript additions.