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Henry Yates Thompson Copy. Calcutta-Printed and Published Map of India. With Clippings Related to the Progress of the Survey of India on the Verso.

Fine and exceedingly rare map of India, published in Calcutta by the Surveyor General of India in 1865. Showing the subcontinent in full, the map utilizes three colors: pink to denote British states, yellow to denote British protectorates, and green to denote independent states.

Detail on the map is extensive, with a number of cities, roads, railways, and other features shown throughout. Elevations are shown, and topography is given for various peaks. Mt. Everest is shown with an elevation of 29,002 feet, reflecting the 1856 calculations conducted by Andrew Waugh.

Maps printed in India so shortly after the Sepoy Mutiny are uncommon, and were often printed in very limited runs which explains the rarity of the item. This project involved a number of people, including "Sunawullah," who did the drawing and writing, "J. O. N. James," the assistant surveyor, and "H. M. Smith" and "Romanath Dass Hills" the lithographer. These names are interesting as they suggest that the survey was composed of both Indian and English participants.

Particularly interesting in this example of the map are the clippings pasted onto the verso of the map. Three such panels are included. The largest and most colorful of these an index to sheets of an Indian Atlas apparently published in 1867. This plate shows a grid structure superimposed onto India, with some sectors shaded red and others blank - this likely refers to the progress of the India survey and which sheets were contained in the atlas. 


Henry Yates Thompson (with an inscription, possibly in his hand, including his Portman Square address), one of the most important manuscript collectors of all time.


The map is exceedingly rare. We find only a single example, in the British Library. The example held there is the 7th edition, also published in 1865. We have been unable to trace any additional examples of the map having appeared on the market.

Condition Description
Six-color stone lithograph. Dissected and laid on original publisher's linen. Minor toning and soiling, with some loss of linen at intersecting folds.