India - Folding map - wyld


India - Folding map - wyld

Product no.: 3952

Wyld, James (1812-1887)  Map of India to Illustrate the Progress of the British Dominion from 1791 to 1857

James Wyld London 1864                                                  

steel engraved map with original outline colouring; 4 segments pasted on cloth. brown, embossed cloth booklet 17,5 x 12 cm, title pasted on; binding slightly faded, some wear and tear, o/w good cond. folding map overall 33 x 22 cm; small margins and slightly cropped in places, some slight soiling, with  advert for various Wyld’s New Maps on verso, o/w g cond.

A charming little map of India, divided into the various states with emphasis on the British possessions. The title page bears the signature ‘Lady Duff-Gordon’. 

Though there are two Lady Duff-Gordons, I feel that this map must have belonged to Lucie, Lady Duff-Gordon (1821 – 1869) who was an English author and translator who wrote as Lucie Gordon. She is best known for her Letters from Egypt, 1863–1865 (1865) and Last Letters from Egypt (1875). Having moved in prominent literary circles in London, she contracted tuberculosis and migrated in 1861 to South Africa for health reasons. She travelled on to Egypt in 1862 where she settled in Luxor, learnt Arabic, and wrote many letters about Egyptian culture, religion, and customs. Her letters are notable for humour, outrage at the ruling Ottomans, and many personal stories from the people around her. - As this map was published in 1864, five years before her death, it would have been looked upon as a very ‘modern’ and uptodate map. 

The other contender is Lucy Christiana, Lady Duff-Gordon (1863 – 1935), a leading British fashion designer in the late 19th and early 20th centuries who worked under the professional name Lucile, and together with her husband Cosmo Duff-Gordon was one of the first people to be saved from the Titanic. Being born a year before the publication date of the map, more current maps would have been available to this Lady Duff-Gordon whilst growing up.

Though there is no 100% certainty that this is the actual signature, it bears more resemblance to the Victorian Lucie than the Edwardian Lucy.

[ref: 3952] £150

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