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Highly detailed map of Switzerland, prepared under the direction of the Alpine Club and R. C. Nichols.

The map is one of the earliest comprehensive topographical maps of the Alps to employ modern surveying and mapping techniques.

A key on the map provides definitions of symbols in 4 languages (English, French, German & Italian).

The Alpine Club, formed in 1857, is the world's oldest Mountaineering Club.  On December 22, 1857 a group of British mountaineers met at Ashley's Hotel in London. All were active in the Alps and instrumental in the development of alpine mountaineering during the golden age of alpinism (1854–1865).   John Ball was the first president and E.S. Kennedy, the first vice-president, succeeded him as president of the club from 1860 to 1863. It then moved its headquarters to the Metropole Hotel. 

The map is scarce on ther market. We note an example offered in 1992-93 by G.B. Manasek.


Condition Description
Folding map on 4 sheets, dissected and laid on linen, with original slip case.
Edward Stanford Biography

Edward Stanford (1827-1904) was a prominent British mapmaker and publisher. A native of Holborn in the heart of London, Edward was apprenticed to a printer and stationer at the age of 14. After his first master died, he worked with several others, including Trelawny W. Saunders of Charing Cross. Saunders oversaw young Edward’s early career, ensuring that he became a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. Associations with the Society eventually brought Sanders much business and gave him a reputation as a publisher of explorers. As testament to this reputation, the Stanford Range in British Columbia was named for him by John Palliser.

Stanford briefly partnered with Saunders in 1852 before striking out on his own in 1853. He was an agent for the Ordnance Survey, the Admiralty, the Geological Survey, the Trigonometrical Survey of India, and the India Office. He also controlled the maps of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, another lucrative source of income. In 1857, Stanford founded his namesake Geographical Establishment, with Saunders and A. K. Johnston as engravers. Thereafter, Stanford was known for his “library maps”, particularly those of Africa and Asia.

Although he had authored many maps, the Harrow Atlas of Modern Geography and a similar volume on classical geography, Stanford is better remembered today as the leader of a successful map business. Ever in search of more inventory, he acquired the plates and stock of John Arrowsmith, heir of the Arrowmsith family firm, in 1874. By 1881 he employed 87 people at his premises at 6 Charing Cross Road, Saunders’ old address. As he aged, he phased in his son Edward Jr. to run the business. He died in 1904. The business survived him, and the Stanford’s shop is still a prominent London landmark today.