Map of the Island of Ceylon incorporating that of the Kandyan Provinces already published ... by Major General John Fraser, late Deputy Quarter Master General…
$3000 / ≈ €2759
“Map of the Island of Ceylon incorporating that of the Kandyan Provinces already published and constructed from a base, and corresponding astronomical observations during his employment on the staff of the Colony by Major General John Fraser, late Deputy Quarter Master General. Reconstructed incorporating a great number of original documents and connected with the great survey of India by John Arrowsmith. June 1856.”
Huge and scarce wall map of the island of Ceylon (Sri Lanka). Decorated with an inset map of coffee estates in the Central Province and an inset view of SATIN-WOOD BRIDGE at PERADENIYA. Scale: English Miles 4 to 1 Inch. Size 48" by 73".
The map has been based on surveys carried out in two stages. The first, confined to the Central highlands of the Island.
The plan of this survey portrayed the country on the scale of 2 inches to 1 mile. Although it was based on the recognized technique for surveying on such a scale, the delineation of detail was necessarily rough.
In the technical sense the controlling factor was a triangulation, which was broken down in turn by compass traverses from which the detail and hill-features were sketched.
The principal triangles were formed by the highest mountaintops and were carried over the foothills to the plains where stations were established on lesser eminences. Skinner says that both he and Galway, who were charged with this triangulation, were able to neutralize errors only by repeating their triangles indefinitely and taking their mean. when their work was connected, Galway from the north by the east coast, and Skinner's from the Central provinces in a triangle of sides upwards of 6 miles, their intersections at Hambantota were said to be so near that the error could only be just appreciated with the fine point of the bow compass.
The completed portion of the work done by Lt. Col. Fraser and his band of officers was produced in 1841, 21 years after the survey was started, on a reduced scale on 1 inch to 1 mile. It was designated - "Map of the Mountain Zone" and submitted through the Quarter Master General at the Horse Guards to the Secretary of State. All the arrangements for the publication of the map in England was left to the Colonial office and the Military Authorities with a proviso that Capt. Gascoyn, late Deputy Assistant Adjutant General in Ceylon, be permitted to superintend the publication.
The completed map of the Island was eventually produced by Arrowsmith, 42 years after the inception of the survey. 400 copies were made available for sale, and for public purposes within the Colony.
On the map there is a magnificent engraving of the SATIN-WOOD BRIDGE at PERADENIYA, with the legend that it was "designed and executed over the Maha Villa Ganga on the Colombo Road, 4 miles from Kandy in 1832 by Major General Fraser", who was responsible for the production of the map. A note on the specification of the bridge shows that it was of single span 205 feet, height of roadway 67 feet, and width 22 feet.
The engraving conveys a delightful impression of the surrounding country and the setting of the bridge and is filled in with useful costume figures of the local inhabitants.
Fraser has also introduced a valuable innovation by insetting on the side of the map another map showing the position of the Coffee Estates in the Central Province of Ceylon on the same scale as the basic map.
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