1931 Admiralty Nautical Chart of the Approaches to the Yangtze River

Approaches to the Yangtze Kiang. From the Chinese Maritime Customs Charts to 1928. - Main View

1931 Admiralty Nautical Chart of the Approaches to the Yangtze River


A nautical chart of the approaches to Shanghai through the Yangtze River.


Approaches to the Yangtze Kiang. From the Chinese Maritime Customs Charts to 1928.
  1931 (dated)     27 x 39.5 in (68.58 x 100.33 cm)     1 : 145510


This is a 1931 Admiralty nautical chart or maritime map of the approaches to the mouth of the Yangtze River in China. The map depicts the region from Shanghai to the China Sea and from Tsungming (Chongming) Island to Hangchow (Hangzhou) Bay, the Parker Islands, and the Saddle Group. Highly detailed, myriad depth soundings (measured in fathoms) are indicated throughout. Coastal locations, islands, banks, and channels are all identified. Shanghai is situated along the left border, with some locations, including the British consulate, labeled. Depth soundings are also provided up the Whangpoo (Huangpo) River even past Shanghai.
Manuscript Notations
Numerous manuscript notations are noted here, all of which have been added in red ink. These additions have been traced in the same fashion that the Admiralty traced small corrections to the map, by dating them in the lower left corner. By following this record, these notations date from 1932, 1933, and 1935. One of these notations is a new light. A handful of pencil notations are present as well. It is unclear if the yellow dots marking the the lights along the approach to the Huangpo River were done by the same hand.
Census and Publication History
This map was published by the Admiralty in February 1931, with the first edition issued in 1881 and several editions in between. This is a very scarce chart. A record for the 1881 edition appears in the OCLC, noting a single example in the British Library, but no other records appear for any of the other editions.


The British Admiralty Office (1795 - Present) or the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office refers to the Branch of the English government that is responsible for the command of the British Navy. In 1795 King George III created the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office, known in short as the U.K.H.O., to provide top notch nautical charts to the vast Royal Navy. Prior the founding of the Admiralty the surveying and creation of nautical charts was primarily a commercial venture wherein the cartographer himself, more of than not, actually financed the printing of his own material. The great navigator Cook himself is known to have scrambled for funds to publish his own seminal charts - the most important and advanced of the period. The system of privately funded nautical mapping and publishing left vast portions of the world uncharted and many excellent charts unpublished. King George III, responding significant loss in trade revenue related to shipwrecks and delay due to poor charts, recognized the need for an institutionalized government sponsored cartographic agency - the Admiralty. The first head of the Admiralty, a position known as Hydrographer, was the important cartographer Alexander Dalrymple. Dalrymple started by organizing and cataloging obtainable charts before initiating the laborious process of updating them and filling in the blanks. The first official Admiralty Chart appeared in 1800 and detailed Quiberon Bay in Brittany. By 1808 the position of Hydrographer fell to Captain Thomas Hurd. Hurd advocated the sale of Admiralty charts to the general public and, by the time he retired in 1829, had issued and published some 736 charts. Stewardship of the organization then passed to Rear Admiral Sir Francis Beaufort. It was under Beaufort's administration that the Admiralty truly developed as a "chart making" as opposed to a "chart cataloging" institution. Beaufort held his post from 1829 to 1854. In his 25 years at the Admiralty Beaufort created nearly 1500 new charts and sponsored countless surveying and scientific expeditions - including the 1831 to 1836 voyage of the H.M.S. Beagle. By 1855 the Admiralty's chart catalog listed some 1,981 charts. Learn More...


Very good. Even overall toning. Light wear along original centerfold. Manuscript notations. Blank on verso.


OCLC 558094383 (1881 edition).