Charming allegorical map on a hand fan

Published by John Wallis / Engraved by V. Woodthorpe, ALLEGORICAL MAP of the Track of Youth to the Land of KNOWLEDGE. , No. 16 Ludgate Street, London; June 25, 1796.
Engraved map with original hand color, mounted on fan with wooden ribs, the ribs fastened with brass pin and ivory washer. 10"h x 17"w when open.

An extremely rare 18th-century hand fan featuring an allegorical map.

The map depicts the route of a voyage beginning at “Dark Bay,” crossing “The Great Ocean of Experience,” and terminating at the “Land of Knowledge.” Along the way the voyager passes, among other obstacles, the “Rocks of Obstinacy and Idleness,” the “Coast of Ignorance,” “Dissipation Island,” “Endeavour Island” and the “Coast of Hardship.” At the center is an eight-point compass rose with “Happiness” in the place of north, with other points named “Religion,” “Ignorance,” “Folly,” “Misery,” “Impiety,” “Wisdom” and “Reason.” The map is flanked by an explanatory text narrating the voyage.

The map was engraved by Vincent Woodthorpe (c.1764-1822) of Fetter Lane, London, who engraved maps for William Faden and Laurie & Whittle as well as Wallis.

Christies Auctions, A Collection of Important Fans (May 12, 1994), #45. Not in Cust`s Catalogue of the Collection of Fans and Fan-Leaves Presented to the Trustees of the British Museum by Lady Charlotte Schreiber or the on-line catalog of the British Museum.


Few pinholes, minor wear at folds, else excellent