An unusual find, this is a remarkable c. 1880 chromolithograph map of the world on a Mercator Projection illustrating ocean currents. Centered on the Pacific basin, the map covers the entire world, overlapping somewhat in Africa. While there is very little inland detail, many coastal cities are noted. The highlight of this map is its sophisticated and dense study of world currents, prevailing winds, average temperatures, and barometric readings. The map follows the work August von Jilek, an oceanographer in the service of Archduke Ferdinand Maximillian. In addition to the map proper that are various tables and diagrams that expound upon Jilek's theories. The whole is vivid, complex, and dramatic. We are aware of only one other example of this map.
August von Jilek (August 28, 1819 – November 8, 1898) was a Czech physician, scientist, and bureaucrat active with the Austrian Imperial Navy in the second half of the 19th century. He was born at Litomyšl in Bohemia, now in the Czech Republic, where the Jilek surname can be traced back to the 15th century. He studied medicine in Vienna and afterwards, around 1845, enlisted in the Austrian Imperial Navy. He must have served with considerable distinction, as he was chosen to be the personal physical to Archduke Ferdinand Maximillian (1832 – 1867). Ferdinand Maximillian, then the Commander and Chief of the Navy, founded a new Imperial Naval Academy at Pola, in Istria. Jilek took a post there lecturing on Oceanography, a subject for which he had no formal education but a great passion. In conjunction with his new position he compiled a textbook, Lehrbuch der Oceanographie, for which he best known today. Jilek is often criticized for not being a particularly innovative or original researcher in this field, nonetheless, he was excellent at compiling the research of others, particularly Matthew Fontaine Muray, Eduard Brobrick, and Immanuel Kant. His work is notable as only the second work to contain the term 'oceanography' in the title. In addition to his oceanographic work, Jilek produced two medical studies focusing on Malaria. In 1864 he gave up his academic post to escort to escort his patron, now the ill-fated Emperor Maximillian I, to his new kingdom of in Mexico. Wisely Jilek did not remain, returning to his government position in Europe. He died in Trieste on November 8 of 1889. Learn More...
Very good condition. Dissected and mounted on linen in 20 sections.