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1848 Edmond Blunt Nautical Chart or Map of Florida and the Bahama Banks


Price: $5,000.00


Title:    The Bahama Banks and the Gulf of Florida.

Description:    A scarce, detailed, and highly attractive 1848 nautical chart or maritime map of Florida and the Bahamas by e. and G. W. Blunt. The chart covers Florida from 2937' N, or, roughly speaking, from the latitue of Lake George south past the Florida Keys (then called the Florida Reef), as far as Cuba and from the longitude of Cape St. George eastwards to include the Bahama Islands. The map features limited inland detail but a fine mapping of coastal regions and countless depth soundings, especially around Tampa Bay, the Florida Keys, and throughout the Bahama Banks - a notoriously dangerous area for ships even with such a fine chart as this. An inset in the lower left quadrant focuses on Key West and the surrounding reefs. Around this time wrecking - the practice of salvaging from shipwrecks - had turned Key West into the richest city in Florida. Blunt attributes his inset of Key West to George Gauld, a late 18th century British naval surveyor who produced several extensive surveys of the area. The remainder of the chart is attributed to the work of Colonel Albert of the U.S. Topographical Bureau and U.S. Navy Surveyor Commander Powell. Twelve shore profiles decorate the upper right quadrant. Blunt's chart, which first appeared in his 10 sheet maritime atlas of 1827, represents the height of Nautical mapping in and around the Florida peninsula until the work of the U.S. Coast Survey in the 1850s.

Date:    1848 (dated)

References:    Rumsey 4662.000. Phillips. 3661; Guthorn. p.9-10, 56, 92-93, 160-161. Guthorn, United States coastal charts, p. 10, 156 -158 (1834-1860 eds.)

Cartographer:    Published by E. & G.W. Blunt 179 Water Street, New York. Edmund March Blunt was a bookseller and in Newburyport Massachusetts who sold his merchandise at a bookshop called "The Sign of the Bible". In 1796, along with the nominal assistance of prominent navigator Captain Lawrence Furlong, Blunt published The American Coast Pilot, one of the most important published works on American navigation. Though much of the work was plagiarized from British publications, the "Pilot" was an immediate popular success. In response to the popularity of his work, Blunt published 21 subsequent editions of the "Coast Pilot". The first edition to contain map plates was printed in 1804. After a terrible fire at "The Sign of the Bible" in 1811, Blunt moved his business to New York and published under the "Sign of the Quadrant". In time his son, Edmond Jr. took over the family business and, in 1830, accepted a position under Hassler at the United States Office of the Coast Survey. Much of Blunt's original work eventually found its way into U.S. Coast Survey Publications. Due to the quality and detail of Blunt's work subsequent editions of his most important charts were republished will into the 1880s. Click here for a list of rare maps from E. & G.W. Blunt.

Size:   Printed area measures 40 in height x 50 inches in width (101.6 x 127 centimeters)

Condition:    Very good. A working nautical chart, some pencil marks and soiling related to navigational usage, professionally flattened and backed with fresh linen.

Code:   Florida-blunt-1848 (to order by phone call: 646-320-8650)

© Geographicus Rare Antique Maps, Kevin Brown, 21/8/2014



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