Friday, January 28, 2011

Old City Plans #1: London

After a little absence, brought on by a superfluity of work and real-life activity, I expect to be able to post here very regularly for the next little while. Thank you to all those who have been in touch recently either through the comments on the blog of via the email link on the right hand side - your comments, particularly on the Forrest Reid post below, have been most helpful.

I think I have uncovered yet another vein of untapped potential for the collector. Once again, this is one of those situations where you don't realise what a cracking collection something would make until you see a number of the items together, in this instance: old city maps.

This one is quite wonderful, published in 1911 by Charles Baker, a gentleman's outfitters who, I confess, I had never heard of before. However, it seems they were quite the Top Shop of their day. As you begin to unfold the map the first thing you see is a series of images of six of their premises. If the size and situation of the shops is anything to go by, this was a major enterprise!

Upon unfolding the map again we get a long panorama of the clothes that Bakers offer to the well dressed boy or gentleman. And then, finally, the pictorial map of London in 1911.

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