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1824 / 1875 Admiralty Nautical Chart / Map of the West Indies and Gulf of Mexico

WestIndiesGulf-admiralty-1875
$3,500.00
A General Chart of the West Indies and Gulf of Mexico, describing the Gulf and Windward Passages, Coasts of Florida, Louisiana, and Mexico, Bay of Honduras and Musquito Shore; likewise the Coast of the Spanish Main to the Mouths of the Orinoco. - Main View
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1824 / 1875 Admiralty Nautical Chart / Map of the West Indies and Gulf of Mexico

WestIndiesGulf-admiralty-1875

The best British chart of the West Indies.

SOLD

Title


A General Chart of the West Indies and Gulf of Mexico, describing the Gulf and Windward Passages, Coasts of Florida, Louisiana, and Mexico, Bay of Honduras and Musquito Shore; likewise the Coast of the Spanish Main to the Mouths of the Orinoco.
  1875 (dated)     78 x 50 in (198.12 x 127 cm)     1 : 2100000

Description


An impressive large-format 2-section nautical chart or maritime map illustrating the Gulf of Mexico, the West Indies, Florida, Central America, and the Caribbean Sea, including the Greater and Lesser Antilles. An inset in the upper right details the British Virgin Islands and, although only a small part of the whole map, is one of the better nautical charts of these islands then available (1: 300000). British Honduras (Belize) is also mapped in exceptional detail, reflating continued British interest in the region. Of note is the proposed inter-continental railway being constructed between the Gulf of Honduras and Gulf of Fonseca (Conchagua). There is a wealth of additional practical information for the mariner throughout, as well as notes regarding area where the chart may be inaccurate. Soundings, Lighthouses, and lightships are presented according to standardized nautical conventions.
Shipwrecks
The chart is notable for identifying the probable location of a number of shipwrecks, including the U.S.S. Yantic (1870), the H.M.S. Conqueror (1861), H.M. S. Driven (1861), among others.
Publication History and Census
This chart was originally published by William Faden. The Rumsey collection has a variant by Faden dated to 1808, allowing us to identify the progenitor chart, but the copyright on this chart is 1824 - likely when the Admiralty Hydrographic Office took over publication. The left chart bears minor corrections to 1871, while the right chart is corrected to 1875. There is evidence on the map that the original title was scratched out and revised. Although unreadably faint, as of 1855, the title proceeding from the word 'Compiled' was instead 'Drawn chiefly from the Surveys of Mr. Anthy De Mayne, R. N. the New Spanish Charts, etc.'

CartographerS


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...


William Faden (July 11, 1749 - March 21, 1836) was a Scottish cartographer and map publisher of the late 18th century. Faden was born in London. His father, William MacFaden, was a well-known London printer and publisher of The Literary Magazine. During the Jacobite Rebellion (1745 - 1746), MacFaden changed his family name to Faden, to avoid anti-Scottish sentiment. Faden apprenticed under the engraver James Wigley (1700 - 1782), attaining his freedom in 1771 - in the same year that Thomas Jefferys Sr. died. While Thomas Jefferys Sr. was an important and masterful mapmaker, he was a terrible businessman and his son, Jefferys Jr. had little interest building on his father's legacy. MacFaden, perhaps recognizing an opportunity, acquired his son a partnership in the Jefferys firm, which subsequently traded as 'Faden and Jefferys'. Jefferys Jr. also inherited Jefferys Sr. title, 'Geographer to the King and to the Prince of Wales'. With little interest in cartography or map publishing Jefferys Jr. increasingly took a back seat to Faden, withdrawing completely from day-to-day management, although retaining his finical stake, by 1776. The American Revolutionary War (1775 - 1783) proved to be a boomtime for the young 'Geographer to the King', who leveraged existing materials and unpublished manuscript maps to which he had access via his official appointment, to publish a wealth of important maps, both for official wartime use and for the curious public. This period of prosperity laid financial underpinning for Faden, who by 1783, at the end of the war, acquired full ownership of the firm and removed the Jefferys imprint. In 1801, he engraved and published the first maps for the British Ordnance SurveyBy 1822, Faden published over 350 maps, atlases, and military plans. He retired in 1823, selling his places to James Wyld Sr. Faden died in 1836. Learn More...

Condition


Good. Laid down on old linen. Some spotting, toning, discoloration. Edge wear. Wear old folds. Four panels, right top and bottom sheets joined. Left top and bottom sheets joined. Right and left sections, not joined, but can be upon request for an additional fee. Platemark.

References


Royal Maritime Museum, Greenwich, STK245:1/4(2)B.