1858 Direccion de Hidrografia Nautical Chart / Map of the Bahamas / Florida

Carta Esférica del Gran Banco de Bahama parte de la Isla de Cuba y Costa de la Florida. - Main View

1858 Direccion de Hidrografia Nautical Chart / Map of the Bahamas / Florida


Spanish issue nautical chart of Florida and the Bahamas.


Carta Esférica del Gran Banco de Bahama parte de la Isla de Cuba y Costa de la Florida.
  1858 (dated)     37 x 23.5 in (93.98 x 59.69 cm)     1 : 778500


A scarce, large, and highly detailed 1858 nautical chart or maritime map of the Bahamas by the Spanish Direccion de Hidrografia. Within 3 years, this and similar maps would become a hot commodity for enterprising smugglers and blockade-runners supplying the Confederacy from bases in the Bahamas and Matazas, Cuba. Centered on Andros Island, the largest of the Bahama archipelagic state, the map depicts from Grand Bahama to Cuba and from Florida to Exuma. Cartographically and hydrographically, it is a compilation of Spanish and English surveys artfully combined. The Florida coast is illustrated in meticulous detail from, roughly, modern day Vero Beach to Matecumbe Key. Fort Jupiter, Boca Raton, the Miami River, Fort Lauderdale, and Fort Dallas are all noted. The Bahama Bank itself is dense with thousands of soundings - underscoring just how dangerous navigating these low-lying waters could be. The Cuba coast, is also illustrated with exceptional detail, as one would expect from a Spanish chart.
Publication History and Census
The text was engraved by C. Marquerie and the map was engraved and construed by Juan Noguera. This map was issued by the Spanish Direccion de Hidrografia under the supervision of Don José Ma. De Quesada. An example is cataloged in OCLC and is part of the collection at the Biblioteca AECID.


The Direccion Hidrografía (1787 - 1927), also known as the Deposito Hydrografico and the Direction de Hidrografía, was the Spanish equivalent of the British Admiralty or the U.S. Coast Survey. This organization, founded in 1787, was commissioned to collect and produce accurate nautical charts of all waters frequented by Spanish vessels. In essence, it replaced the Casa de la Contratación de las Indias (House of Trade of the Indies), which closed its doors in 1790. Like most such organizations, the Direccion Hidrografía marked a new age in cartography. Rather than simply collect charts created by navigators, explorers, and merchants, the Direccion Hidrografía worked closely with naval and military personnel to mount cartographic and hydrographic expeditions in pursuit of the most accurate hydrographical, astronomical, and geodetic measurements. The Direccion Hidrografía created a massive library of nautical charts that, though not nearly as common as similar nautical charts by the U.S. Coast Survey and British Admiralty, are highly desirable for the beauty of their manufacture as well as their accuracy and detail. The office was originally located on Calle Ballesta, but relocated to 36 Alcala, both in Madrid. After 1908 the Dirección was subsumed into other governmental agencies. In 1927 the Direccion was absorbed into the Institute and Observatory of San Fernando, located in Cadiz. The library of original maps, charts, and journals was transferred to the Naval Museum of Madrid - where it resides to this day. Learn More...

Juan Noguera (fl. c. 1835 – 1860) was a Spanish draftsman and engraver based in Madrid during the middle part of the 19th century. Noguera drafted and engraved maps for Francisco Coello, Direccion de Hidrografia, and others. Juan Noguera should not be confused with Clemente Noguera, who was also a senior line-engraver at the Direccion de Hidrografia. The two engravers may or may not be related. Clemente was significantly oder than Juan, and may have been an older relative. Learn More...


Good. Full professional restoration. Mounted on linen. Closed tears extending twelve (12) inches from the bottom border and ten (10) inches from the top border professionally repaired. Exhibits closed margin tears. Exhibits light toning. Lower right corner reinstated. Exhibits areas of dampstaining.


OCLC 914939492.