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Fine example of a rare variant edition of Ernest Dudley Chase's map illustrating the "History of Stamps," published for The Philatelic Institute (School Division) of Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Ernest Dudley Chase's lively world map depicts many of the most famous and collectable stamps, displayed in close proximity to their country of origin. The map also includes annotations noting major events in the progress of postal delivery. Large panels celebrate "Some Firsts" in mail history and the story of "The Famous One-Penny Black." A red-highlighted compass rose, lower right, has four portraits taken from stamps: "Pasteur - Europe," "Stanley - Africa," "Washington - No. America," and "Bolivar - So. America," all surrounding a picture of the "World's Rarest Stamp," a British Guiana one-cent magenta from 1856 with only "1 Known Copy."

Below the title is a quote from Voltaire:

the Post is the link connecting all affairs, all negotiations; by its means the absent become present; it is the consolation of life.

This variant edition includes a note at the bottom, which was not present on the original issue.

Free on Request: Illustrated Booklet "How to Collect Postage Stamps" and "How to Start a Stamp Club." The Philatelic Institute (School Division), Cambridge 39, Mass.

Ernest Dudley Chase was one of the most prolific and renowned pictorial map artists of the 20th century, producing about 50 maps published from the 1930s to the 1960s. Chase's maps cover a wide assortment of locations and topics. The biographical pamphlet A Meticulous Maker of Maps describes Chase's "passion for perfection," executing the detailed pictures under a magnifying glass "dot by dot, with tiny pens."

Ernest Dudley Chase was born in Lowell, Massachusetts and began his career as a graphic artist. He established his own greeting card company, which he sold to Rust Craft Publishers in 1920. He authored The Romance of Greeting Cards, the first complete history of the medium, published in 1926, with a revised edition in 1956.

Chase began drawing maps at age 49, which he self-published from his home in Winchester, Massachusett.

Chase donated many examples of his maps to the Harvard University Map Collection, Pusey Library, which featured them in the exhibition "The Pictorial Maps of Ernest Dudley Chase" from February to April 2003. According to the curators of the exhibit, Chase "designed pictorial maps ranging in scale from his own hometown to global themes of navigation, exploration, communication, and world peace. He could be alternately whimsical, didactic, and subtly allusive--often on the same map." In 2009, the State Library of Massachusetts presented the exhibition "Ernest Dudley Chase: A Worldview in Maps," showcasing his wide variety of works.


“Ernest Dudley Chase.” National Cyclopedia of American Biography. James T. White & Co., after 1966. “Ernest Dudley Chase: A Worldview in Maps: Exhibit now on view at the State Library.” 22 May 2009. State Library of Massachusetts Blog.