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SRI LANKA (CEYLON): [UNTITLED MANUSCRIPT MILITARY MAP FOCUSING ON THE INTERIOR OF CEYLON (SRI LANKA), ESPECIALLY THE KINGDOM OF KANDY]. [Map bound into an example of a book:] [Robert FELLOWES (1770 - 1847)]. The History of Ceylon, From the Earliest Period to the Year MDCCCXV. By Philalethes. To Which is Subjoined, Robert Knox’s Historical Relation of the Island, with An Account of his Captivity During A Period of Near Twenty Years. London: For Joseph Mawman by J.F. Dove, 1817.
[Ceylon, circa - 1818]. 1817 - Manuscript: pen and ink and watercolour, with pencil, on laid paper watermarked ‘G L Paine 1813’, mounted upon contemporary linen, folding and bound into the book cited below, Fellowes’ The History of Ceylon, between Part 1, pp. 1 and 2 (Excellent, clean and bright with lovely original colours), 31 x 47.5 cm (12 x 19 inches). 4° (28 x 22.5 cm / 11 x 9 inches): Collation Complete - [2 Parts:] xxii, 341; [1], viii, 383, plus 15 full page plates and 1 folding map of Ceylon (43 x 27 cm / 17 x 10.5 inches) contemporarily mounted upon linen [+ Aforementioned Mss. Map]; bound with original half calf with gilt tooling to spine (Good, text overall clean with only a couple light stains to a few pages and a few neat contemporary annotations in pen to latter pages of Part 1; some spotting to some plates, pronounced spotting to printed map of Ceylon; binding re-backed retaining most of original spine). Of great historical importance – A fine original manuscript that is one of the earliest known detailed and broadly accurate maps of the interior of Ceylon (Sri Lanka), focusing on the territories of the Kingdom of Kandy, drafted by an anonymous British military engineer, predicated upon pioneering reconnaissance undertaken in the period just before and during the Uva Rebellion (1817-8), following which Britain annexed Kandy and assumed control of the entire island; apparently the seminal source for John Davy’s groundbreaking printed map of the island; bound within a an example of Robert Fellowes’ ‘The History of Ceylon’. This highly important original manuscript is one of the earliest known surviving maps to give a broadly accurate and detailed rendering of the southern interior of Ceylon (modern Sri Lanka), with a special focus on the traditional heartland of the legendary Kingdom of Kandy. The map was drafted by a British military cartographer, almost certainly just before or during the Uva Rebellion (1817-8), the final showdown between Kandy and Britain, upon which the latter utterly vanquished the former, absorbing its territory into British Ceylon. The mapmaker is unknown, but circumstantial evidence suggests that it could quite plausibly have been Captain John Fraser, a military cartographer who worked closely under the supervision of Governor Sir Robert Brownrigg (in office, 1812-20), the ‘carto-literate’ supreme commander of the British forces during the rebellion. Importantly, the map appears to be either the seminal source, or closely related to the seminal source, of John Davy’s 1821 map, which is the first printed map to give an accurate portrayal of the interior of Ceylon. The present map deserves to be the focal point of future archival research in Columbo and London, which will hopefully yield more detail as to authorship and the precise circumstances of its creation. SEE OUR WEB PAGE FOR A LONGER DESCRIPTION
      [Bookseller: Antiquariat Dasa Pahor]
Last Found On: 2018-01-16           Check availability:      ZVAB    

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