Lord Minto’s copy of Wyld’s Military Staff Map of Central Asia. Turkestan, and Afghanistan, 1878

POA

WYLD’S MILITARY STAFF MAP OF CENTRAL ASIA, TURKISTAN, AND AFGHANISTAN.  James Wyld [London]  circa 1878.

Large folding map, dissected, linen-backed, and coloured in outline, 47.5 x 36.5ins unfolded [121 x 93cm], folding down into a 10 x 7in original case of black pebbled cloth, the spine is particularly worn from use and some of the cloth is missing or parting company from the boards, the original printed title label lacks the top left corner but retains the faded signature of the first owner. The map itself is in excellent clean and sound condition and the same owner’s signature is written in ink to the top left margin Melgund [Viscount Melgund, later 4th Earl of Minto & Viceroy of India, serving 1879 as Staff Officer attached to Gen Sir Frederick Roberts VC in the Kurram Valley]. The map is contoured and on a scale of approximately 1 inch to 30 miles: it extends from the Aral Sea in the north to Kelat in Baluchistan in the south and from the eastern shores of the Caspian in the west to Delhi in the east. The original ownership of this map by a staff officer serving at the time makes it an especially desirable and appropriate association copy.
Gilbert John Murray Kynynmond Elliot, 4th Earl of Minto [1845-1914] was one of the most vigorous and able Viceroys but before his tenure of that office [1905-1910] he had what the DNB describes as “a curiously adventurous life” following his service in the Scots Guards [1867-70]. He was in Paris during the fighting of 1871, a war correspondent with the Carlist Army in Spain, attaché to the Turkish army during its war with Russia in 1877 before volunteering for Afghanistan in 1879 where he served as a staff officer on Roberts’s staff. The date of this map’s production coincides with the height of tensions over the perceived threats to the British Empire in India posed by threats from Russia’s advance through the Central Asian Khanates towards the northern borders of Afghanistan. He was a famously good horseman and unique as the Viceroy who had ridden the winner of a Grand National.  feb25/3    SOLD 16th June 2022

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