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Transvaal on the Eve of the Second Boer War.

Fantastic large-scale map of the Transvaal in 1899, published in Pretoria, South African Republic, and printed in Winterthur, Switzerland by Jakob Schlumpf using his waxed silk chromolithography technique.

The map compiles the surveys filed in the Surveyor General's Office by Friedrich Heinrich Jeppe (1834-1898) and his son Carlos Friedrich Wilhelm (Charles) Jeppe (1870-1900), with the help of Johann Rissik (1857-1925).

The Jeppes began working on the map as early as 1892 but lacked the benefit of comprehensive triangulation of the territory. This meant that the work of mapmaking took years of compilation of block surveys, sketch inspections, and a few astronomically-fixed positions, as opposed to strictly scientific surveying. "Nonetheless, it was superior to anything else available, and the British duly seized on the first shipment of some 5000 map sheets in Cape Town in January 1900."  (Lindsay Frederick Braun, Royal Commission, 1903, page 452.)

Apparently, the map was originally planned to comprise only the bottom three sheets. However, additional information became available in 1898 and resulted in the expansion of the project. In fact, F.H. Jeppe, who was a Transvaal official but also a British agent, sent a copy or copies of the bottom three sheets to London via Cape Town. As a result of this, Lt. Col. Henderson, a Cape Town-based intelligence officer, was able to acquire the maps under the guise of seizure as contraband, to avoid a diplomatic incident.

Friedrich Jeppe became severely ill during the production of the map. He died in 1898 of a liver ailment, and the work was carried on by Johann Rissik and Charles Jeppe. The latter complete the map in 1899, one year before his own death, and sent away to Switzerland to have it printed.

The Second Boer War began later in 1899 and concluded in 1902 with Britain stamping out resistance and taking control of the whole country.

The map was co-published by Edward Stanford of London.

Condition Description
Color-lithographed on waxed silk linen. Six unjoined folding sheets, with original printed paper covers. Minor amount of foxing around the folds.
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.