Harry Beck’s 1933 diagram of the London Underground was so visionary that you may have a version of it in your pocket (or at least on your mobile) today. Before his geometric layout revolutionised public transportation, however, the Underground map was geographical.
An example of the last geographical map displayed at Underground stations, designed by Fred Stingemore, is on offer at Iconic Antiques for £9500. Though most copies were issued in paper, this example is enamel and would have been used for display outside.
This example dates to early 1933, after Beck’s map had already gone into circulation as a pocket map. Station maps were replaced in July that year.
Dealer Chris Berry says: “These resplendent iron maps were produced in such low numbers and very few have survived. Once out of date, they would have been discarded or reused for their iron. The few that still exist are often in a deteriorated state. So we are extremely fortunate to have such a stunning example in our collection.”