Fine chromolithographic bird's eye view map of South Africa, published in London by GW Bacon & Co.
Bacon's fascinating pictorial style view / map extends from the Limpopo River to Cape Agulhas and from the Atlantic to the Indian Oceans. The view depicts roads, rivers, towns and cities, rivers, mountains, and other political and geographical features. An inset in the upper left details the heartland of the Transvaal, from Mafeking (Mahikeng) to Pretoria. A second inset the lower right details northern Natal (KwaZulu-Natal).
Bacon likely prepared to capitalize on British interest in the First Boer War (1880-1) and the immense gold and diamond discoveries that had been made in the interior regions. Johannesburg, founded only in 1886, had become Africa's greatest boom town, and the British public was eager to centextualize the place names which daily appeared in British newspapers. Moreover, the conflict between the Boers (Afrikaner settlers) and British colonial interests would remain top of the news. The contretemps would break out into a larger war, the Second Boer War (1899-1902), during which the British Empire squared off against the two independent Boer republics, the Orange Free State and the Transvaal Republic. While it was a hard-fought conflict, it eventually resulted in victory for the British and the consolidation of their power in South Africa.
The map / view presents one of the finest overviews of South Africa from this critical historical period.