A spectacular and unrecorded Holy Land map, remarkable for having been issued in Philadelphia in 1823.
This very large map on three sheets is one of the most dynamic and appealing early images of the Holy Land. With roots tracing back through a number of 18th-century English editions and ultimately to mid-17th century engraving by Jan van Doetechum the younger, it preserves an iconography and charm that by the 19th century had all-but disappeared from published maps.
The map shows the Holy Land, the Sinai and the Nile Delta, projected from the East as is often the case but with the Egyptian coast “stretched” to eliminate its western turn. The image is adorned with depictions of villages, towns and fortresses in “bird’s-eye perspective” and hundreds of tiny vignettes depicting scenes from the Old and New Testaments. Of further interest are an inset view of the Temple of Solomon, a large inset plan of Jerusalem (its format hearkening back to Visscher‘s 17th-century plan) and an even larger bird’s-eye view of the city, as well as 14 larger vignettes depicting central moments of the Old Testament narrative.
The ultimate prototype for this map seems to have been van Doetechum’s 1641 Niewe Caertees das Lants von Beloften ende (Nebenzahl, Holy Land, pp. 120-124, English versions of which were issued by Overton (ca. 1717), Sayer (ca. 1752), Cluer Dicey (ca. 1765), G. Thompson (1795) and others throughout the 18th century. Though Duffield’s map appears to be entirely unrecorded, another version was published in Philadelphia in 1828 by one D. Haines (OCLC #41354388). It is not known whether Haines employed Duffield’s plates, though this seems likely.
Thomas W. Duffield seems to have been an attorney from Frankford, Pennsylvania, but his rationale for entering into a publishing venture is not known. He rates a couple of brief mentions (primarily in the capacity of executor) in the period press, but none in connection with this or any other map.
Not in Antique Map Price Record; Laor, Maps of the Holy Land; Nebenzahl, Maps of the Holy Land; or OCLC. Not in “Holy Land Maps from the Eran Laor Holy Land Collection” at the web site of the Jewish National and University Library (http://www.jnul.huji.ac.il/dl/maps/pal/html/).
Helpful background on earlier maps in the series was obtained from unpublished correspondence between Dr. Alfred Moldovan and Ashley Baynton-Williams, Map-Hist, July 26, 2008.
Varnish removed with minor areas of restoration to paper and image. Toned overall, with some residual cracking, soiling and staining. Lined with modern replacement linen.