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Reise und Influenz-Karte der vorzüglichsten Eil-Post und Brancardwagen Course in dem Oesterreichischen Kaiserstaate.
Raffelsperger, Franz, 1...
Reise und Influenz-Kart...
Separate Map
Raffelsperger, Franz, 1793-1861
Full Title
Reise und Influenz-Karte der vorzüglichsten Eil-Post und Brancardwagen Course in dem Oesterreichischen Kaiserstaate.
Alexander Johnson: "Extremely rare – 1 of only 2 known examples – of the first edition of Franz Raffelsperger’s highly progressive, stylized geographical time chart of the postal system of the Habsburg Empire and its neighbours. This extremely rare, separately-issued geographical time chart features a brilliant stylized design, decades ahead of its time. Centred on Vienna, it features lines connecting various nodes (cities / major post offices), giving the dispatch and arrival times between each. The sophistication and economy of expression of the work is unlike anything we have seen from the time, even surpassing that of Raffelsperger’s other postal charts. The scope of the chart focuses upon the Hapsburg Empire and its immediate neighbours, its coverage extending as far south as Rome and as far north as Berlin; as far west as St. Gallen, Switzerland and as far east as Lemburg (Lviv, Ukraine). The chart was printed at Raffelsperger’s own costs, although done with the approbation of the Austrian Postal directorate. The present map is the 1st (of 2) editions; the second edition is virtually identical and is dated 1827. The chart is extremely rare in either state. We cannot locate any examples in sales records; in institutional holdings was can trace only 1 example of the present 1st edition (Austrian National Library, Vienna) and 1 example of the 2nd edition (National & University Library of Slovenia - Ljubljana). Franz Raffelsperger (1793 - 1861) [often spelled ‘Raffelsberger’] was one of the most fascinating and underappreciated mapmakers of the 19th Century, responsible for innovative, proto-modernist map designs and unusual printing techniques. That he is not better known today is likely due to the boutique nature of his work; most of his maps were produced in very limited print runs intended for specialists, and so did not gain a mass audience. That being said, his maps were treasured by those who utilized thematic cartography, as well as Austro-Hungarian academics. Raffelsperger was born in Modra, in today’s Slovakia (then part of Hapsburg Hungary). In 1820, he gained employment at the Austrian Postal Directorate in Vienna, where he became fascinated with postal cartography. He was given special access to mapping and information in the directorate’s archives and he proceeded to draft several postal maps, such as the present chart, which were published at his own cost, although the directorate endorsed his work and assisted in their marketing. All of the 1820s issues, such as the present example, are today remarkably rare, as they were produced in only very limited print runs. Importantly, they all tend to feature innovative, proto-modernist designs, decades ahead of their time. In 1835, Raffelsperger began experimenting with different printing methods, especially publishing maps with letterpress. In 1837, he received a privilege for printing maps through this technique. As he did not own a printing shop, he sub-contracted the presses of various Viennese publishers. In 1839, Raffelsperger received a gold medal in Vienna for his industrial achievements, although he continued to produce his maps in a boutique fashion, in limited print runs. In 1841, Raffelsperger published the first edition of this atlas of Austria, Erster Typometrischer Atlas für Geschäftsleute jeder Art, Gymnasien, Schulen und Zeitungsleser. It featured 15 maps of different scales, some of which were printed on two pages. In 1843, he published an atlas of Europe with 24 maps. While Raffelsperger is best known for his separately published maps of the Austrian Empire, showing postal routes and railways, he also published maps of Paris, Budapest and Warsaw. Curiously, he also produced non-cartographic, such as portraits and works of unusual typography, including prints bearing Chinese letters and proofs of oriental scripts. In 1843, Raffelsperger founded his own company,  K.K. außerordentlich ausschließlich privilegierte typograph.-geograph. Kunstanstalt (the Emperor’s exclusively privileged typographical-geographical art workshop) in Vienna. However, only a year later he ran into trouble with Viennese book publishers who accused him of creating a “disturbance”, as he was printing not only maps, but also accompanying text, against the regulations of the book printers’ guild. Raffelsperger was compelled to move to Leipzig, Saxony, where he was finally able to operate his enterprise as he saw fit. In addition to maps, he specialized in broadsides and newspapers, including the Der Unpartheiische. Although active as a mapmaker and publisher, Raffelsperger for many years maintained his position at the Austrian Postal Directorate; however, due to a contretemps, he was suspended from his post in 1849, and dismissed in 1851. Latterly, Raffelsperger became something of a recluse and dedicated his time to academic writing and publishing.
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