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Important late-19th-century map of the Roof of the World, including the Sikkim-Bhutan-Tibet Tri-border Region.

Hand-colored lithographed map of the Himalayan border region, between the eastern border of Bhutan and Almora, India. An inset map shows a large overview of the Ganges and Indus watersheds.

The map locates Mt Everest, only 3 years after it received its name by the British Royal Geographical Society.

The map provides several landmarks for establishing the Sikkim-Tibet border, which was formalized (albeit problematically) in the 1890 Convention of Calcutta, between the British Empire (representing India) and the Qing Dynasty of China. Inconsistencies in this agreement and the late-19th-century mapping of the region have resulted in competing territorial claims and major geopolitical implications for China and India.

Capt. T. G. Montgomerie

Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas George Montgomerie FRS (1830-1878) was a British surveyor who participated in the Great Trigonometric Survey of India as a lieutenant in the 1850s. He was the person to label K2, the second highest mountain in the world, the K standing for Karakoram. The label "K2" has stuck and has become, and remains, the mountain's most commonly used name.

Despite being often denied close range access, the 19th-century survey work carried out by Montgomerie and the survey of India has been shown to be accurate. The elevations of major summits which they calculated are very close to the elevations which are accepted today.

He was subsequently involved in attempts to extend the survey of India into Tibet. Tibet was not part of the British Empire and was closed to foreigners, so he employed and trained Indians, who entered Tibet disguised as traveling Tibetans, and became known as pundits.

Augustus Herman Petermann Biography

August Heinrich Petermann (1822-1878) is a renowned German cartographer of the nineteenth century. Petermann studied cartography at the Geographical Art-School in Potsdam before traveling to Edinburgh to work with Dr. A. Keith Johnston on an English edition of Berghaus’ Physical Atlas. Two years later he moved to London, where he made maps and advised exploratory expeditions as they set off to explore the interior of Africa and the Arctic.

In 1854, Petermann returned to Germany to be Director of the Geographical Institute of Justus Perthes in Gotha. There, he was the editor of the Geographische Mittheilungen and Stieler’s Handatlas. The Royal Geographical Society of London awarded him their Gold Medal in 1860. He continued his interest in exploration in Germany, fundraising for the German Exploring Expeditions of 1868 and 1869-70, which sought an open Arctic sea. Tragically, he committed suicide in 1878.