Unique set of colourful plans in two volumes, Staedte ('Cities') presented cities in unusual and attractive 'military' perspective. The maps were originally designed by Hermann Bollmann (1911–1971), German illustrator, cartographer and publisher, sometimes referred to as 'Merian of the 20th centruy' (from Matthäus Merian, the leading German illustrator of the 17th century). Bollmann kicked of his publishing career after returning from Soviet captivity in WW2, documenting the damages of the cities bombed by Allies during WW2. Before drawing the map, Bollmann first photographed the streets of the city from his VW Beetle using a specially constructed camera with automatic shutter. In the later stages, he also used cameras attached to a Cessna aircraft which he flew himself, taking thousands of aerial photographs as a source for his maps. His team also thoroughly worked on revising the maps, reaching up to a 16 revisions of a single city map. During his career Bollmann published plans of more than 80 German and foreign cities (including Jerusalem and New York) to the greatest detail.
The two volumes of Staedte contain altogether 50 double page plans of 37 cities. Some of the cities (like f.e. Bollmanns hometown Braunschweig) are presented in multiple maps to show the progress urbanisation or reconstruction from the damages of WW2 bombing. Apparently, a third volume with another 17 maps was in the stage of preparation when the first two volumes were published, but unfortunately there are no signs of it online whatsoever. The plans, originally published as separate maps either in folded or plain format, are scaled down to fit in the handy format of the book. Each city has a title page with an introduction text and the colourful maps are interspersed with enlarged black and white schematic illustrations of most important parts of the city. Each main map is decorated with unique custom borders and some of the maps also contain directional rose and a map scale.
Staedte presents a very comprehensive yet handy collection of unique city plans with excellent details that will catch an eye of every 20th century map lover.
Contents of the Volume I:
Contents of the Volume II:
First edition in two volumes, complete in very good condition with pages very lightly yellowed along the edges. Lacks both dust jackets.
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