A New Map of the Crimea and Sea of Azof,1856

New York City, New York, 1856
color print
Professionally conserved
professionally conserved and flattened, good condition, original colors, toning to thin paper, staining at point of attachment at top left corner to former cover
24 × 33 inches
Sale Status: 
For Sale

The format of A New Map of the Crimea and Sea of Azof resembles a war newsmap which is appropriate for a map published contemporaneously with the Crimean War. It is also pertinent one hundred and sixty-seven years later today with Russia's February 24, 2022 invasion of the Ukraine and renewed attention to the region. The latest battle information labeled on the 1856 map appears to be September 8, 1855. The format of this map includes geography, topography, other graphic art in an oval inset map with 55 numbered reference notes and battle locations with dates and outcomes. The map records the Sept. 14, 1854 landing of the Allies and therefore the date range of this war news map is approximately one year.

The scale of this large map is in miles. The map describes travel distances from cities within the theatre of war on lines connecting those destinations: Odessa to Sebastopol is 775 miles; a line departing from Balaklava is labeled "to Constantinople 300 miles"; the distance from Sebastopol to Kertch is 200 miles. Battles are noted on the map and dated, sometimes with additional commentary. For example, one note states "South Sebastopol in possession of the Allies successful assault Sept. 8, 1855". Other battles are noted on the map, with accompanying dates at Balaklava, Mamalon and Inkarmarn. The locus where the Allies landed Sept. 14, 1854 at "Old Fort" or Staroe Ukriplenic is labeled.  Cities and towns are labeled, as well as the Akmechet Hr. Tower. Mountains are shown graphically.

Spelling of geographic locations is sometimes variable. For example, the Sea of Azof  as named in the map title also appears as "Azoff" on the map. Kertch on the map appears as "Kertsch" on the line labeled with travel miles to Sebastopol. The printing is often imprecise with ink smudges. The map appears to have been done hastily in order to capture newsworthy events in real time.

The inset map oval is titled "Panoramic View of Sebastopol and Environs Taken from the North Side. See Corresponding Figures."  and shows Sebastopol in possession of the Allied Forces as of September 8, 1855. The corresponding figures might be the accompanying table of References numbered 1.-55. This colorful bird's eye view of Sebastopol represents military installations, including a hospital and the places of Russian retreat and French and other Allied victories.

The publication of the map was in 1856 by an American agent of the British reporter who documented the events of the Crimean War. This American published map purports to be up to date reporting from the battlefield. The map is therefore a vehicle for the war reporting. The style in which the map is composed - borrowing the oval inset without attribution and borrowing a small map of Europe in the style of a school geography also without attribution suggest a quickly arranged battlefield map for public consumption.

I have not found another published example of this unusual pictorial 1856 war map of the Crimean War.

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