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Updated by Bacon to Size: Hand-coloured map, dissected and mounted on linen. This map originates from a large scale map of London compiled and engraved by Edward Weller F. The map was extremely popular with the map buying public, being reprinted numerous times, and as a result was included in the Dispatch Atlas published in early Cassell declared that their "large map of London, as well as being the largest, is universally admitted to be the best map of London ever produced". The work was undertaken by John Dower F. S, and resulted in a much updated and improved map that included proposed developments in London as well as the new buildings, streets and railways that had already been completed. Bacon had been declared bankrupt on 23 May while occupying premises at 49 Paternoster Row, but by January he was rebuilding his business at Strand, premises he was sharing with one William Tweedie, also a mapmaker and publisher. It was while he was at Strand that Bacon first published his copy of the Weller map displayed above. It is important to realise that Bacon overlaid many of the new London developments over the top of the Weller and Dower plates. Some of the London features shown on the map were speculative in nature, representing known planned developments or information published in Parliamentary Papers, some of which never eventuated and were not build. An advertisement for Bacon's map reads: Largest and best published. Reduced editions from 12s 6d. Bacon's map depot, , Strand, 20 doors west of Somerset-house. The Times, Thursday, Nov 17, ; pg. Map And Plan Collection Online website. Condition There is much life recorded on the surface of this map, as the ink splashes at the bottom of the map testify. The map has been a working map at some point in its long history, having been pinned up for display for a significant period of time at some stage. The map has suffered considerable yellowing due to exposure to natural light, so it must have been on display for many years. It was hung on a wall with a window to the right of the map, as the yellowing of the map is far more extensive to the right hand side than to the left. While it was on display many items were pinned over top of the map, resulting in uneven patchwork discolouration to the paper upon which the map is printed. Drawing pin holes and marks from the pin heads are evident over much of the surface of the map, and one can only speculate what the map may have been used for, and what was pinned upon its surface. Perhaps it was used for planning of London engineering works such as sewer extensions by the London Metropolitan Board of Works, or railway extensions by one of the many railway companies operating in the Metropolis? Perhaps it was simply displayed because it is an attractive item, or because it reminded someone of home? It is intriguing to speculate about what this map may have been used for in its working like. Variations In The Hand Colouring The paper sections of this map have been individually hand coloured prior to the map being mounted onto linen. Individual map sheets could also be purchased, presumably hand-coloured to suit specific customer requirements. It seems likely that Bacon would have had a number of workers involved in hand colouring the individual sheets, so variations in colouring and accuracy to detail would be expected. It now seems likely that Bacon was issuing the Weekly Dispatch map as individual sheets as early as from his premises at Strand. Variations in attention to detail and hand colouring and are evident in the map displayed here, and the individual sections certainly suggest different hands at work on the hand colouring process. A few examples of this variation are evident in the coloured north section and uncoloured south section of Victoria Park the south-west corner is completely uncoloured , and in the coloured north section and uncoloured south section of the St John's Wood railway line. There are many other examples of this inconsistency throughout the map. Aids To Dating This Map This map was previously thought to have not been published by Bacon until , so it has been important to date this copy as accurately as possible. There are many features shown on the map that aid with the dating process, not the least of which is Bacon's address at Strand, where he is known to have been resident from at least January until April , possibly longer. Dating was carried out by identification and interpretation of the following London developments shown on the map. It is important to recognise that Bacon overlaid many of these features on top of the Weller and Dower plates, and that some of the features shown were speculative in nature, representing known planned developments or information published in Parliamentary Papers, some of which never eventuated and were not build. Bacon declared bankrupt on 23 May , after which he vacated these premises. Albert Hall construction commenced 20 May
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