Horse Map of the World
By SIMS, Joseph P[atterson], 1934
Horse Map of the World.
- Author: SIMS, Joseph P[atterson]
- Publication place: New York
- Publisher: Miller’s
- Publication date: 1934.
- Physical description: Chromolithograph map, watermark of Hamilton Bond.
- Dimensions: 530 by 820mm (20.75 by 32.25 inches).
- Inventory reference: 14541
on the left, and medieval figures on the right.
On the map itself, other breeds including the Beetewk, the Nubian Gray Wild Ass of Africa and, interestingly, the Zebra, are illustrated, along with annotations providing addition information. One such notes discusses the superstitions surrounding white horses which, although historically spurious, undoubtedly contributes to the light-hearted style of the work. Others suggest other breeds that might also be found in the given country, although , surprisingly, none are attributed to India, where there is literary and visual evidence of equine activity for several millennia, Turkistan (modern Kazakhstan), which is known to have been responsible for at least four breeds, or the Iberian Peninsula. The latter is perhaps the most striking omission, given that an annotation above South America explains that horses were brought there by the Spanish in the sixteenth century. Indeed, although the equus genus did originate in North America, horses had died out there during prehistoric times, and were only reintroduced by Europeans upon the discovery of the New World. Likewise, the much simplified map of Asia documents the origins of only Chinese, Russian and Arabic horses, despite the prevalence of horses throughout the continent. Sims does, however, add details of other breeds found in Mongolia, a country with an important equine history and culture, since horses were an essential part of the nomadic existence which many Mongols lived.
More ornamental features are to be found on the map, such as the scale and compass in the centre, which are flanked by two unicorns, in keeping with the equine theme. Similarly, a hippocampus is illustrated in the lower left corner, while another aspirational horse is shown on the opposite side, flying over a small cartouche containing information about the map’s publication. Alongside this thematic map, Sims wasresponsible for a Dog Map of the World , published the previous year. Neither work is designed as a scientific or exhaustive survey of breeds, but a decorative, informative and interesting piece for animal enthusiasts.