The everyday blog of Richard Bartle.
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3:43pm on Saturday, 16th February, 2008:
I got a new 1869 map today, to add to my collection. This is the first one I've acquired that was printed in Italy, so I was keen to see what it looked like.
Here's a small chunk:
As you can see, it's coloured. Lots of maps of that era have their borders marked by hand, but they're not usually as bright or as slapdash as this. I suppose it gives it an air of authenticity, in that if a later map-seller wanted to make it look more appealing then the sensible approach would be to make it prettier, not to obscure the borders by rough approximations to the actual lines. Elsewhere on the map, the Crimea looks as if it's an island, for example.
What's also interesting is use of Italian names for places and geographic features. The Straits of Dover, as we can see from the above scan, are the Stretto di Calé, which is remarkably generous of them given that Italy wasn't happy with France at the time (France was guaranteeing the independence of the Papal States, which Italy needed to annexe if it was ever to complete the set of Italian provinces — not that you could tell this from the map, which assigns them to Italy anyway).
I'll have a closer look in a week or so, once the stench of cigarette smoke absorbed from the activities of the map's previous owner has dissipated.
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Copyright © 2008 Richard Bartle (firstname.lastname@example.org).