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SHKODËR / SHKODRA, Albania: Harta Topografïke e Shkodres.



A rare wall map of Shköder in Albania, showing the city after WWI, was made by Schöder Jesuit College and printed in Novara, Italy, by Giovanni De Agostoni, a student of German map maker Heinrich Kiepert. 


A rare separately issued map shows a town Shkodër (Shkodra) after WWI. Shkodër is a town in the north Albania on the Lake Skadar, close to Montenegro border. During WWI it was occupied by different army forces, such as Montenegro, Austria-Hungary and France. After the war it was annexed to Albania.

The map was made by Shkodër Jesuit College, which issued many publications, and was printed by Instituto Geografico de Agostini in Novara, Italy, then one of Italy’s leading cartographic publishing houses. The enterprise was owned and operated by Giovanni De Agostoni (1863 – 1941), an esteemed Italian geographer and publisher.  De Agostini trained in cartography under the legendary German mapmaker Heinrich Kiepert (1818-99), where he became proficient in scientific and thematic cartographic methods.  While in Germany he published an essay on the Tierra del Fuego that gained great acclaim in the international geography community.

Upon his return to Italy, De Agostini worked at the Military Geographic Institute of Florence and at the Hydrographic Institute in Genoa.  This led him to publish his pioneering scientific atlas on the Italian Alpine lakes, Atlante Limnologico

In 1900, De Agostini first established his own map publishing house at Como, named the Stabilimento Cartografico del Dott. G. De Agostini.  Some years later, he moved the company to Novara, changing its name to Istituto Geografico De Agostini, where it prospered, becoming one of the largest private cartographic studios in Italy.  De Agostini specialized in the large, beautifully designed and works, such as the present map of Shkodër.  De Agostini’s family continued the business after his death in 1941.

We could only trace two examples in libraries worldwide (University of California, Los Angeles, and Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin.

References: OCLC 910978883.

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