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1783 Gerard Hulst van Keulen Proof Map of Jamaica


1783 Gerard Hulst van Keulen Proof Map of Jamaica


Rare separate issue Hulst Van Keulen map of Jamaica - possibly in a proof state.



  1783 (undated)    11 x 23 in (27.94 x 58.42 cm)     1 : 550000


A rare and attractive 1783 separate-issue map of Jamaica issued by Gerard Hulst Van Keulen. The map covers all of Jamaica without sounding along the south cost, particularly to the west of Kingston. While there is little inland detail, the cost is finely delineated. Kingston appears with one of its buildings illustrated in profile.

There is some suggestion from the example in the Utrecht University Library that this map was issued in the 1783 Hulst Van Keulen edition of De Nieuwe Groote Lichtende Zee-Fakkel. We find it more likely that the map was added to the atlas post-publication as it appears in no established collation. The paper and idiosyncratic engraving style also corresponds to other known Hulst Van Keulen separate issue maps from the late 18th century.

The unusual sheet size and the lack of an imprint or title underscore this theory and suggest moreover that this is most likely a proof prepared with the intention that it be added to a larger map. It that spirit, the only other known appearance of this Jamaica profile appears on Robert Bishop's 1794 chart An Accurate Draught of the Windward Passage, published by Laurie and Whittle.

The presently offered map is extremely rare with only a single example cited in the OCLC.


Gerard Hulst Van Keulen (1733 – January 1801) was a Dutch publisher of maps and nautical charts, bookseller, and nautical instrument maker active in the late 18th century. Hulst Van Keulen was the last major scion of the legendary Van Keulen family, the most prominent Dutch nautical chart makers of the late 17th and 18th century. He was the son of Johannes II van Keulen and Catharina Buys. Hulst Van Keulen initially ran the family business with his brother Cornelius Buys Van Keulen, but when Cornelius died in 1778, he took full leadership, acquiring his brother's share of the business for some 93,000 NLG. He was responsible for publishing the final true Van Keulen editions of the family's signature product, the Zee-Fakkel, as well as a host of separately issued maps. It must be said that most, although not all, of the work published under Hulst Van Keulen was derivative of earlier Van Keulen maps and represented the trailing works of an empire in decline. Nonetheless, after the death of Gerard Hulst Van Keulen, his widow continued to manage the business, eventually passing it on to her son, Johannes Hulst Van Keulen. In 1823 Jacob Swart joined the firm, acquiring full ownership from Johannes Hulst in 1844. The Swart family, over several generations, continued to publish under the Van Keulen imprint until the company closed its doors in 1885, ending cartographic legacy spanning nearly 207 years.


Van Kulen, Gerard Hulst, De Nieuwe Groote Lichtende Zee-Fakkel, (Amsterdam) 1783.    


Very good. Wide margins.


OCLC 967544037.
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