St. Petersburg [CAHKTIIETEPBYPTA].
1834 (dated) 14 x 15.5 in (35.56 x 39.37 cm)
1 : 30000
This is a scarce 1834 map or city plan of St. Petersburg, Russia, published by the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge. It covers the second largest city in Russia located on the Zayachii Ostrov in the Neva River. St. Petersburg was Imperial capital of Russia from 1732–1918. Centered on the Peter and Paul Fortress, the map shows fine engraved detail including individual streets, houses, cemeteries, rivers, streams, churches, bridges and beautifully rendered parks and fields. A panoramic view shows the city with the Isakiefskoi Bridge in the foreground. The map also identifies the Winter Palace, Admiralty, War Office, Statue of Peter I, and Isaac's Church.
This map was part of A Series of Maps, Modern and Ancient, issued by subscription by the SDUK. Each folder in the series would contain a set of two maps bound together. The map accompanying this folder, not included here, was of Edinburg, London. The original folder included the names of committee members of the ‘Society’, notices to subscribers, the folder number, which is this case was XLVIII, the contents and the printer and publication details.
This map was printed by William Clowes and issued by the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge in their March 1834 subscriber’s edition folder and published by Baldwin and Cradock. The folder at the time was priced at 1 shilling plain or 1 shilling 6 pence colored.
The "Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge" was a Whiggish organization founded in 1828 at the instigation of idealistic British lord Henry Peter Brougham. The admirable goal of the Society was to distribute useful information via a series of publications to the English working and middle classes. It promoted self-education and the egalitarian sharing of all knowledge. While closely tied to the London University and publishing houses on the order of Baldwin and Cradock, Chapman and Hall, and Charles Knight, the Society failed to achieve its many lofty goals in finally closed its doors in 1848. Most likely the failure of the Society resulted from its publications being too expensive for its intended lower to middle class markets and yet not large and fine enough to appeal to the aristocratic market. Nonetheless, it did manage to publish several extraordinary atlases of impressive detail and sophistication. Their most prominent atlas consisted of some 200 separately issued maps initially published by Baldwin and Cradock and sold by subscription from 1829 to 1844. Afterwards, the Society combined the maps into a single world atlas published under the Chapman and Hall imprint. In its day, this atlas was unprecedented in its quality, scope, and cost effectiveness. Today Society, or S.D.U.K. as it is commonly known, maps are among the most impressive examples of mid-19th century English mass market cartographic publishing available. The S.D.U.K. is especially known for its beautiful and accurately detailed city plans.
Baldwin and Cradock (fl. c. 1810 - 1860) were London based publishers working in the early to mid 19th century. They are best known for their publication of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge's ground breaking subscription atlas. They also published John Thomson's magnificent New General Atlas from 1814 - c. 1820. In addition to their cartographic corpus, the firm had wide ranging publishing interests in many other areas, including books, broadsides, and an investment in Blackwoods Magazine. They had their offices at 47 Paternoster Row, London, England. This firm also published under the imprint Baldwin, Cradock, and Joy and Cradock and Joy.
Very good. Even overall toning. Light soiling. Blank on verso.
Rumsey 0890.198 (atlas edition).