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Description

The Bombay Presidency at its Greatest Extent--Indian Published, Pre-Raj.

Colossal map of western India, containing remarkable detail in what appears to be the most extensive map of the region then published. Stretching from Yellapur in Karnataka State to Karachi in Pakistan, this map shows the Bombay Presidency in the middle of the 19th century, at a time when it formed one of the three great centers of British power in South Asia.

The Bombay Presidency, technically the Bombay and Sindh Presidency at the time of this map's publication, had just undergone a massive period of expansion to become one of the leading jewels in the Company Rule of India. This map seeks to demonstrate the extent of the Company's power, coloring each region according to possessions. The most expansive color on the map is pink, which represents British lands under the administration of the Presidency. Other owners in the region are the Raja of Kolhapur, the Rao of Kutch, and the Nizam rulers of Hyderabad. Mumbai can be found in the lower coastal part of the map.

The map includes a distance chart between dozens of cities, with fifty-one different routes indicated on the map. Traveler's bungalows, different types of roads, and other indicators abound which indicate that this map was likely designed for civil servants of the British rule.

Five years following the publication of this map, the Sepoy Mutiny would fundamentally change the governing structure of India. The subcontinent would fully come under crown rule, changing the nature of the presidency to one of a purely administrative division.

Mumbai was coming into its own at the time of this map's publication, with reclamation projects agglomerating the seven islands into one landmass. The first passenger railway in India would open in Bombay in 1853, and later events, such as the American Civil War (with the associated shift towards Indian cotton) and the opening of the Suez Canal would turn it into one of the world's leading cities.

Rarity

We can find no copies having traded hands (RBH and OldMaps.com). OCLC records editions of 1846 (British Library, BNF, University of Minnesota, and University of Pennsylvania, only copies); 1852 (British Library, University of Minnesota); 1857 (British Library, University of Washington Library, Oxford, and University of Melbourne).

Condition Description
Backed on publisher's linen. Felt cover with gilt title "Routes in the Bombay Presidency." Back cover marbled. Original hand-color.