1867 Norie and Wilson Nautical Chart or Map of the Canary Islands and Maderia
Description: An exceptionally beautiful 1867 James Norie and Charles Wilson nautical chart or maritime map of the Canary Islands and Madeira, including part of western Africa. As a whole the map offers excellent detail with inland topography on all of the islands as well as countless depth soundings throughout. There are three inset detail maps in the lower left quadrant focusing on Arrecife, Funchal, and Santa Cruz. There are an additional seventeen land profile charts filling the upper right and lower right quadrants. The title is set in an elaborate typeface just outside the map's upper border.
The Canary Islands were a popular stopping point for ships traveling between Europe and the Americas. By the time this map was made, Madeira was known around the world for its fine desert wines, among the most popular luxury beverages in the Western Hemisphere throughout the 17th and 18th centuries. Cartographically this map is based on the work of J. S. Hobbs. It was engraved by Charles Wilson, of 'Norie and Wilson', a nautical publishing firm based at 157 Leadenhall Street, London.
Date: 1867 (dated)
Cartographer: John William Norie (June 3, 1772 - December 24, 1843) was a British teacher of navigation, hydrographer, chart maker, and publisher of maritime manuals active in London, England in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Norie was born in Wapping, London, an area long associated with the maritime sciences. Norie's career as a chart maker commenced under the tutelage of William Heather, a prominent purveyor and publisher of nautical charts, pilot books, and navigational tools who took over the firm of Mount and Page in 1765. Heather and Norie were likely acquainted through John Hamilton Moore, another important chart maker with whom both seem to have been associated early in their careers. Heather hired Noire to teach basic navigation at his shop at 157 Leadenhall Street. Under Heather Norie also distinguished himself as a draftsman, completing many of the early charts associated with the Heather firm. When Heather died in 1812 John Norie partnered with George Wilson, a moneyed 'man about town' with little experience in the maritime trades, to acquire the map and chart business at 9500 British Pounds. It proved a good deal for Norie, who retained all copyright privileges and drew 1/4 quarter share of business profits, as well an impressive quarterly salary and, for doing all of the work, 1/3rd of Wilson's share. The firm, referred to as the 'Naval Warehouse' quickly acquired a reputation for quality navigational materials and became a favorite of merchant seamen. It was even referenced in Charles Dickens' classic novel Dombey and Son. In 1919, Noire and Wilson acquired the failing chart business of David Steel, which significantly increased the size, though not quality, of their chart catalogue. With the rise of the British Admiralty and its own maritime chart productions, the business of "Chart Purveyor" in London dramatically changed. Admiralty charts and pilot books, designed for military use, were offered through established intermediaries, like Norie, at bargain prices. Most chart makers of the period found it profitable to use the highly technical Admiralty charts to update their own more decorative vernacular charts. For a brief time this practice proved exceptionally profitable but eventually began to draw criticism. Nonetheless, Noire died a prosperous businessman in 1843. The business passed to the son of George Wilson, Charles Wilson, who renamed the firm "Norie & Wilson". William Heather Norie, J. W. Norie's own son, produced few charts, instead pursuing a career in the legal field. Norie & Wilson merged with James Imray's prosperous chart business in 1899, becoming Imray, Laurie, Norie & Wilson, a profitable concern that remains active in the maritime charting industry. Click here for a list of maps by J. W. Norie.
Cartographer: Charles Wilson (1807 - May 16, 1882) was a British-Indian publisher of nautical charts and maps based in London, England. Wilson was born in Lucknow India and was the son of a colonial officer and an Indian princess, the daughter of the Nizam of Ashrafabad. Wilson was educated in England and worked in the wine trade before joining the Norie firm in 1838. Norie had already partnered with another Wilson, George, who was a cousin to Charles. When Norie retired in 1840, Charles Wilson took over the firm publishing as 'Charles Wilson (Late J.W. Noire and Wilson)'. Wilson died in 1882 passing the firm on to his sons, George and William Wilson. The brothers merged the firm with that of J. Imray and Sons in 1899 and, as Imray, Laurie, Norie &Wilson Ltd., they continue to publish to the present day. Click here for a list of rare maps by Charles Wilson.
Cartographer: John Stratton Hobbs (September 27, 1813 - 1874) was a British chart maker, hydrographer, and engraver active in London during the middle part of the 19th century. Most of Hobbs' work was published in conjunction with Charles Wilson and James Norie. Under Wilson, Hobbs supervised the hydrographic department at Norie and Wilson. Though many maps issued by Norie and Wilson do acknowledge Hobbs, it is presumed that his hand was behind an equal or greater number that do not. In 1848 he was elected to the Royal Geographical Society, where he was a member for the remainder of his life. Click here for a list of rare maps by John Stratton Hobbs.
Size: Printed area measures 34.5 x 27.5 inches (87.63 x 69.85 centimeters)
Scale: 1 : 1150000
Condition: Very good condition. Cleaned and re-backed with fresh linen. Split with slight loss repaired. at top center.
Code: CanaryIslandsMaderia-norie-1867 (to order by phone call: 646-320-8650)