Antiquarian Auctions

Auction #115 begins on 30 May 2024

Macdonald 'Max' GILL (1884-1947, designer/cartographer)

Map of the Electric Railways of London

An 'exceptionally rare' issue (see below).

Published: London Electric Railways, London, [1 November 1923]

Edition: 'Sheves Hill/Burnt Oak' Issue

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MacDonald ‘Max’ GILL (1884-1947, designer/cartographer). What to See & How to Travel … Map of the Electric Railways of London. London: [printed by Waterlow & Sons for] London Electric Railways, [print code: 1/11/23 = 1 Nov. 1923]. Folding map (sheet size: 17 ¾ x 14 1/2 inches), printed in colors. Condition: Some light marks, but generally excellent.

The ‘Sheves Hill/Burnt Oak’ issue: supposed to be ‘exceptionally rare’. The map shows 'Sheves Hill' station name crossed out and replaced with ‘Burnt Oak’ on the Hampstead and Highgate extension (dotted line). Logically, this is one of a small batch that had already been printed (but not folded ready for issue) when the name change occurred and the decision was taken to make the alteration rather than scrap the run.

This wonderful fold-out pocket map of the London Underground was designed by Macdonald Gill. He produced a series of ever-expanding Underground maps between 1920 and 1924. This was the largest of the series and the only one to bear the Underground roundel on the map itself. The stations serving the British Empire Exhibition (which opened 23rd April 1924) are shown as a bold red overprint. Traditionally, this 3rd iteration of the Gill design saw four dated issues (Jan 23, June' 23, Nov '23 [the present issue] and April' 24), but this map suggests that there were two issues of the Nov ’23 map: this being the first.

Gill applied a spare yet elegant decorative quality to the Underground map by adding ornate borders and by the use of attractive Johnston-esque calligraphy for station names whilst also removing all ‘above-ground’ topographical detail (including the River Thames).

Max (as he was known to friends and family) was a versatile and highly-sought after artist, cartographer and illustrator that worked regularly with Frank Pick and the Underground Electric Railways Company over a period covering a couple of decades. Whilst he is best known for defining a new genre in pictorial mapping he actually applied his talents to an enormous range of work from children’s book illustration to architecture.

  • Overall Condition: Excellent
  • Size: 17 3/4 x 14 1/2 inches
  • Sold By: Shadowrock Rare Books
  • Contact Person: Adam Langlands
  • Country: United States
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Telephone: 001 860 248 1547
  • Preferred Payment Methods: Paypal, US$ checks and wire transfers, major credit cards through paypal
  • Trade Associations: AA Approved


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