Copper engraving printed from two plates, not joined, each part originally dissected in 12 segments and mounted on linen, accompanied by an original marbeld paper slipcase, with red labels with gilt title on cover and spine (Very Good, corners slightly scuffed) 79 x 95 cm, when joined (31.1 x 37.4 inches).
The Habsburg Empire was a pioneer in geological and mineralogical mapping during the first half of the 19th Century. That being said, for the longest time, geological surveys were conducted in a haphazard manner, as there was no central authority to fund, conduct and supervise geological mapping. The initiative was left to regional governments or private enterprises, such that only affluent regions or areas that abounded in mining activity were able to justify the great cost of such surveys. Fortunately, Tyrol was one such region, being very wealthy, in good part due to its mineral resources. The creation of an accurate geological and mineralogical map of Tyrol would cave been considered to be of great commercial and administrative value to the duchy, redeeming its costs.
The first serious attempt to make a geological map of Tyrol was Christian Keferstein’s Charte von Tirol und Vorarlberg, 1821, which was included within his great work on the geology of Central Europe, Geologie von Teutschland(Weimar, 1821). While a fine endeavour given the resources available at the time, it was far from being scientifically precise and was of a relatively small scale.
A major cartographic advance that made the present map possible was the completion of the Karte der gefürsteten Grafschaft Tyrol nebst Vorarlberg und dem angrenzenden Souverainen Fürstenthum Liechtenstein, astronomisch trigonometrisch vermessen, topographisch aufgenommen, reduzirt und gezeichnet im Jahre 1823 (Vienna: k. k. Generalquartiermeisterstab, 1823), a gargantuan map that was based on the first systematic trigonometric survey of Tyrol, Vorarlberg and Liechtenstein, conducted by the military surveyors of the Austrian Army. This precise and exceedingly detailed map created the template on which the present map was rendered.
The present map is the first edition of a reduced version of the map from 1823. It is accompanied by a highly decorative contemporary slipcase.
References: Austria picta 73.4. https://www.tirol.gv.at/fileadmin/themen/kunst-kultur/landesarchiv/downloads/SpezialkarteTirol1823.PDF