This item has been sold, but you can enter your email address to be notified if another example becomes available, or purchase a digital scan.

1886 British Admiralty General Chart of the China Sea (China, Philippines, Singapore)

China Sea Compiled from the Latest Government Surveys 1886. - Main View

1886 British Admiralty General Chart of the China Sea (China, Philippines, Singapore)


Rare nautical chart detailing the voyages of Captain Anderson and the Albania from New York to Yokohama.



China Sea Compiled from the Latest Government Surveys 1886.
  1886 (dated)     35 x 26 in (88.9 x 66.04 cm)     1 : 4847040


A scarce 1886 / 89 British Admiralty Hydrographic Office nautical chart or maritime map of the China Sea. This map is the China Sea general chart covering from 7° South to 35° Latitude, inclusive of the Philippines, Taiwan / Formosa, China, Cambodia and Vietnam, and Singapore. In addition to a wealth of nautical detail and practical information for the mariner, this map also offers excellent inland detail particular along navigable inland waterways including the Yangtze and Mekong Rivers. Depth sounding proliferate throughout.

This is a working nautical chart that was owned by the Thomas Reese Anderson, the New Brunswick captain of the ship Albania, a 1438 Ton vessel (of the Taylor Brother's feet), which made a historic run between Yokohama, Japan, Singapore and New York. This chart was used for charter voyage made in 1891 departing New York on the 25th of February and arriving in Yokohama on July 9th. The chart features numerous pencil annotations relating to this voyage. The Albania was built in 1884 in the shipyards of St. John, New Brunswick by O. Pittfield. Today Anderson's voyage to Japan is an important reference for maritime historians due to the detail of Anderson's surviving documents archived at Mount Allison University.

Following this voyage, where Anderson apparently had a dalliance with a Japanese woman, he retired form sailing and became a man of means in his hometown of Sackville, New Brunswick. He invested in various businesses including a railroad line. Sadly, this was his demise. Anderson was killed by a shunting train engine in 1918.

This map was originally published in 1886. It features major updates to 1887, and minor revisions to 1889. In the upper left quadrant it bears the stamp of Philip, Son & Nephew, agents for Admiralty Charts based in Liverpool, England.


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. Original pencil annotations. Pen annotations on verso.


National Library of Australia, 43958955.