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_ Rare 1933 print of London Tube map is set to fetch £45,000
_ Rare 1933 print of London Tube map is set to fetch £45,000
A rare early version of the iconic
The poster showing draughtsman Harry Beck's revolutionary layout of the capital's underground stations and lines was printed in August 1933.
At the time eight
The Waterloo & City had existed as a tube line since opening in 1898 but did not feature on Beck's map or many others because it was operated separately from the London Underground network until 1994.
Although it now features on the latest Transport For London map, the newly-opened Crossrail Elizabeth Line is not formally part of the London Underground network.
The map features several names stations that no longer feature, either because the stations in question were closed or because they were re-named or merged with others.
Besides those 'ghost' stations and the addition of later lines, Beck's colour-coded map almost unchanged to this day.
Although 2,000 poster versions of Beck's map were printed, there are less than ten surviving examples.
Most posters were destroyed after they were pasted to station walls so they are extremely scarce.
The map's sale comes after some people on social media condemned the new London Underground map for being too complicated.
One said: 'The map is just ridiculous – truly a set of lesson in what never to do when designing a transit map.'
The map was also criticised because of additions of IKEA logos in places where the Swedish department store has outlets, following TfL's sponsorship deal with the firm.
Following the building of the underground system in Victorian times, the early maps featured the different lines laid out geographically and superimposed on the roadway of a city map.
This meant central stations were shown very close together, making them difficult to differentiate, while those on the outskirts were spaced far apart.
Beck solved this problem with his iconic design created in 1931, but it did not see the light for two years because it was considered too radical.
His layout, which was initially published in a small pamphlet, was immediately taken to heart by Londoners.
Notable additions to the underground network since Beck's design are the Victoria Line (1960), Jubilee Line (1979) and the Elizabeth Line, which opened this week.
Beck's 30ins by 24ins poster, which is in 'excellent' condition, is being sold by dealer Iconic Antiques at this year's London Map Fair.
Chris Berry, of Iconic Antiques, said: 'I acquired the poster three years ago from the previous owner who had had it since the late 60s.
'They had purchased it from dealer Mike Higson trading in Harrow, Middlesex.
'Harry Beck's iconic London Underground "diagram" was first issued in pocket map format in January 1933 to an extremely positive public response.
'He was immediately commissioned to redraw the diagram in poster format, first in Quad Royal size published in July 1933 (50ins by 40ins) and then this format published in August 1933.
'There were 2,000 produced in this format but most were destroyed so there must be less than ten survivors today.
'Though almost identical to the January 1933 design, this map benefits from a few small improvements Beck made over the first half of 1933; notably replacing the diamond interchange stations with circles and addressing the awkward Met Line right angle between Notting Hill Gate and Paddington.
'The north pointer, which was added by someone else, was a source of much frustration for Beck, as it was inappropriate for this type of map.
'Beck's design has become more than a map, it's a London visual icon.'
The map will be displayed at the London Map Fair on June 11-12.
Two stations featuring on Beck's map that no longer feature are Aldwych and Mark Lane. The former closed in 1994, more than 50 years after disused parts of it were used in the Second World War to shelter treasures including the Elgin Marbles from German bombs.
Mark Lane, which was once part of the District Line, closed in 1967. It was replaced by Tower Hill. Another now-closed station that features is Brompton Road, which shut its doors in 1934.
Also seen are Strand and Trafalgar Square, which both now make up Charing Cross station.
Aldwych was opened in 1907 and was named Strand – due to its location - until 1915.
From 1915 until 1973, Strand was then the name given to the station that formed part of Charing Cross.
Aldwych was connected to nearby Holborn by London's shortest branch line, which was less than 1,800feet long.
Opened in 1907, the station was never popular with passengers and, when its original Otis lifts needed to be refurbished at a cost of £3-4million in 1994, it was decided to close the stop entirely.
The lifts, which date from 1906, are now the only surviving ones of their type on the whole London Underground network.
Today, Aldwych's platforms are used to trial new signs and other innovations before they're installed on the wider network.
Posters dating from the Second World War can still be seen on the walls.
In September 1940, the British Museum made use of a platform which had been bricked up at both ends during the First World War so it could be used by the National Gallery to keep items safe.
The Elgin marbles were taken from the museum to the space on wooden carts. They remained there for safe-keeping until 1948.
Photos show men in suits carefully maneuvering the marbles through Aldwych's passageways. The marbles remained at Aldwych until 1948, when they were wheeled out and put back in the British Museum, in Bloomsbury.
The decision to put the marbles below ground was a good one - the British Museum suffered considerable bomb damage, including to the very space - the Duveen Gallery - where the Greek artefacts had been on display.
The treasures, which are officially known as the Parthenon Marbles, were taken from Athens by the Earl of Elgin - the then ambassador to Greece - in 1812.
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