A stunning nautical chart or maritime map of Puerto Rico (Porto Rico) by Miguel Moreno of the Spanish Depósito Hidrográfico, here it its 1840 first edition. The map's coverage extends from western Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic) to the islands of Vieques and Culebra, east of Puerto Rico. In addition to coastal detail, the map also offers an exceptional presentation of the island's inland topography. Predates the 1843 construction of Puerto Rico's first lighthouse at El Moro.
Publication History and CensusThis map was published by the Depósito Hidrográfico in 1840. It was drawn by Miguel Moreno, who was a pilot and draftsman on the Cosme Damián Churruca expedition to South America and the West Indies (1792 - 1795) - during which the basic reconnaissance for this map was possibly completed. It was engraved by Depósito Hidrográfico engrave Juan Carrafa, with the lettering completed by Nicolás de Gangoiti. We are aware of subsequent updated and revised editions in 1848, 1854 and 1897. The present example is the 1840 first edition.
This map appears on the market from time to time in latter editions, but we are unaware of another example of the first edition to have been sold. The OCLC identifies only one first edition, at the Biblioteca Nacional de España.
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.
Miguel Moreno (fl. c. 1792 - 1845) was a Spanish cartographer and draftsman active with the Depósito Hidrográfico in Madrid during the first half of the 19th century. Hs served in the Spanish royal navy as a pilot as early as 1808. By 1813 he was producing nautical charts for the Depósito Hidrográfico. He participated in the geographical expedition to South America of Cosme Damián Churruca ( 1792 - 95 ), which included the Antilles. Moreno was widely considered the Depósito Hidrográfico's primary expert on Puerto Rico.
Juan Carrafa (1787 - June 19, 1869) was a Spanish cartographer and engraver active with the Depósito Hidrográfico in Madrid during the first half of the 19th century. He work primarily consists of nautical charts.
Nicolás de Gangoiti (September 30, 1801 - January 6, 1857) was a Spanish artist and engraver active in Madrid during the early 19th century. Gangoiti was born in Madrid, the son of the Spanish artist, line and letter engraver Pedro Manuel de Gangoiti. Nicolás probably mastered letter engraving under his father's tutelage, and later studied under the painter Vincente López. Although he wanted to pursue a career as a painter, his father's declining health and advanced age, forced him to take up the more lucrative engraving profession. He worked extensively as a letter engraver for the Depósito Hidrográfico. He was the older brother of Juan Gangoiti (July 12, 1816 - February 8, 1878), also an artist and engraver.
Good. A few minor ink discolorations. Edge repairs on verso.