1838 Dir. Hidrografia Nautical Chart / Map of West Indies / Caribbean / Florida

[West Indies, Florida, Gulf of Mexico] - Main View

1838 Dir. Hidrografia Nautical Chart / Map of West Indies / Caribbean / Florida


Charting an 1867 Spanish voyage around the Caribbean.


[West Indies, Florida, Gulf of Mexico]
  1838 (undated)     27.75 x 41 in (70.485 x 104.14 cm)     1 : 7110000


This is a scarce c. 1838 Direccion Hidrografia nautical chart or maritime map of the West Indies, Florida, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean. Centered on Hispaniola, the map covers from Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, to the Equator, and from the Pacific coast of Central America to the mouth of the Amazon River. Manuscript notates throughout follow the 1867 voyage of a Spanish ship.
1867 Voyage in Manuscript
Manuscript annotation in pencil trace in detail the 1867 voyage of a Spanish ship from Cadiz to Cuba and the West Indies. The ship first makes landfall in the Virgin Islands, before stopping at Porto Rico, then skirting the northern shore of Hispaniola, and moving on to Cuba, then Jamaica and the Spanish Main, stopping at Cartagena (Colombia) and Valencia (Venezuela).
Publication History and Census
This chart was published c. 1838 by the Spanish Direccion Hidrografia. It was drawn by staff draughtsman Francisco Bregante y Orbay, and engraved by Juan Noguera. The map was issued as the southwest sheet of a four-map set that could have been joined as a single enormous chart of the North Atlantic. The chart is undated, but when we acquired it was accompanied by other charts, all of which were dated c. 1838 - 1840. In this case, the map was used as a stand-alone chart, with the other charts not present. Rare.


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. More by this mapmaker...

Francisco Bregante y Orbay (fl. 1840 - 1867) was a Spanish engraver and draftsman active with the Dirección Hidrografía in the middle part of the 19th century. Bregante y Orbay specialized in lettering and text. A relative, Salvador Bregante y Orbay, also worked for the Dirección Hidrografía in a related capacity. Learn More...

Juan Noguera (fl. c. 1835 – 1870) 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 older than Juan, and may have been an older relative. Learn More...


Very good. Minor edge and centerfold wear.