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1809 Henry Salt Map of Mozambique and Mossuril (Mozambique Channel)

Plan du Port de Mozambique et du Pays Adjacent. - Main View

1809 Henry Salt Map of Mozambique and Mossuril (Mozambique Channel)



Plan du Port de Mozambique et du Pays Adjacent.
  1809 (dated)     13.5 x 9.5 in (34.29 x 24.13 cm)     1 : 80000


A scarce and important 1809 Henry Salt nautical chart or maritime map of the port and island of Mozambique, Nampula Province, Mozambique, Africa. The map covers the Harbor of Mazambique, the city of Mossuril, and the Island of Mozambique, as well as some of the souring waters and shoals. Henry Salt, while on a diplomatic mission to Eritrea, arrived in Mozambique on August 25 of 1809 and remainder there until the 16th of September. At the time Mozambique was a Portuguese port and hub of the eastern slave trade - which Salt, like most British of this period, deplored. The map highlights those area actually visited by Salt, including the Island of Mozambique, the city of Mossuril (Messuril), where the Portuguese governor maintained a mansion, and the southern coast of the Grand Cabaceiro. Other regions not actually visited, Salt merely ghosted in. Much of this map Salt no doubt copied from material provided for him by the Portuguese governor, who, he notes, 'has given me every information relative to the coast.' Nonetheless, Salt was known to be a careful observer, and while not a navigator himself, kept a careful nautical journal. There is no doubt there many of the observations, soundings, and other details presented here are taken directly from Salt's own notes and are therefore comprise new unique information about the region. This map was prepared to illustrate the 1816 French edition of Salt's Voyage to Abyssinia.


Henry Salt (June 14, 1780 - October 30, 1827) was a British artist, traveler, diplomat, and Egyptologist active in the first decades of the 19th century. Salt was trained as an artist and traveled extensively in Asia as secretary and draughtsman to George Annesley, the Veiscount Valentia. His first expedition, which lasted from about 1802 to 1806 involved travels to Cape Colony, the east coast of Africa, the Ethiopian Highlands, and India. His paintings from the expedition were published in Annelsey's 1809 Voyages and Travels to India. Afterwards Salt returned to Africa on a government sponsored mission to Ethiopia in the hopes of establishing diplomatic and trade relationships with the Tigrayan warlord Ras Wolde-Sillasie. Salt published the narrative of this expedition in his 1814 book A Voyage to Abyssinia, which also featured a collection of important maps. Today Salt is best known as an Egyptologist and collector of antiquities. In 1815 he was appointed British Consul-General in Cairo, where he dedicated himself to building a vast collection of Egyptian antiquities. Around this time, the ancient monuments and tombs of Egypt were a free-for-all for enterprising Europeans with a penchant for antiquities. Salt and other European adventurers, among them Italian Bernardino Drovetti, had hard reputations and were willing to stop at nothing to obtain choice pieces. Among Salt's top acquisitions are the head of Ramses II and the sarcophagus of Ramses III, located at the British Museum and the Louvre, respectively. Salt built three massive collections, each containing thousands of artifacts. Most of these pieces were acquired by the British Museum, where they rest to this day, though some did find their were to other institutions, such as the Louvre, and into various private collections. More by this mapmaker...


Salt, Henry, Voyage en Abyssinie, entrepris par ordre du Gouvernement Britannique, exécuté dans les années 1809 et 1810, (Paris: Chez Magimel, Libraire pour l’Art Militaire) 1816.    


Good. Original folds. Some soiling, transference, and light foxing. Original pressmarks. Blank on verso.