This stunning detailed map printed blue shows Tehran, with 218 marked important buildings and locations, such as government buildings, hotels, small businesses, book shops, banks etc. The map is based on a hand drawing by Abbas Sahab, the most important map-maker in Iran in the 20th century. The advetisement in the upper right part is for “Sahab’s Iran Atlas. The first complete publication that will acquaint you with the geographical, physical, political, economic, zoogeographical, vegetation etc. situation of Iran”.
The map was made after the 1953 Iranian coup d’état, when the prime minister Mohammad Mosaddegh was deposed in an Anglo-American covert operation that marked the first time the US had overthrown a foreign government during the Cold War.
This is the third edition of the map, made by a cartographer Abbas Sahab, showing the city in 1964. The first edition, printed in red and black and with in-set maps, was published in 1956 (see: David Rumsey Map Collection), followed by a blue lithographed map in 1958.
Each of this maps is a masterpiece of Iranian cartography of 20th century.
Sahab – The Father of Iran’s Cartography
The Sahab Geographic and Drafting Institute was founded in Tehran in 1935, becoming the first private geographic and mapmaking enterprise in the Middle East. Its founder Abolghasem Sahab was succeeded by his son Abbas Sahab, who later became known as the ”Father of Iran’s Cartography”.
He was born in Fam, in Tafresh district in Iran. His father Ostad Abolghasem Sahab Tafreshi was a famous writer and author of about seventy titles on historic, geographic, religious, cultural and artistic topics.
Abbas Sahab devoted himself to cartography already during the time off his studies in Teheran. During his life he created more than 1,500 valuable works including maps, atlases, plates, scientific and medical illustrations, as well as geographic globes.
Sahab was very active on the international level. He was an active member of the International Cartographic Association. Between 1968-1971 he issued maps of other countries such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and Turkey.
In 1970 Sahab organized the First International Map Exhibition in the Tehran Teachers Training High School and in the next years he hosted similar events in the other cities.
In his last years of his life, he dedicated himself to his monumental work: The Great Atlas of 14 Centuries of Islamic Arts in 20 volumes, of which the first volume was published in 2000.
After Sahab’s death the printing house was taken over by his sons and is still active today. Sahab’s unique library with thousands of volumes on cartography also survives intact today.