Auction 116, Lot 390

"Plan du Port de la Ville, et des Forteresses de Carthagene", Covens & Mortier

Subject: Colombia

Period: 1741 (dated)


Color: Hand Color

22.3 x 17.6 inches
56.6 x 44.7 cm

This superb broadsheet-style plan shows the English siege during the War of Jenkins' Ear. In 1741 the large British fleet landed at Playa Grande, near Cartagena and began an unsuccessful assault on the city's defenses. The plan shows the surrounding fortresses and the positions of both the British and Spanish ships with panels of text at bottom keyed to the plan. Title and text are in French and Dutch (Plan van de Haven Stadt en Kasteelen van Cartagena).

The War of Jenkins' Ear had an improbable and theatrical origin. After fifty years of colonial boundary disputes and growing trade competition in the New World, relations between Britain and Spain were extremely strained. The war was named after Robert Jenkins, captain of the ship Rebecca, who claimed Spanish coast guards had cut off his ear in 1731. Seven years later Jenkins was invited by a party of warmongers to tell his story and display his ear to Parliament, thereby inflaming British and colonial American opinion against Spain. One of its most notable episodes of the war was the expedition mounted against Cartagena, the main port of the Spanish colony in Colombia. The expedition ended in disaster, resulting from climate, disease, and the bungling of British commanders.


Condition: A

Professional repair of some minor tears in margins and text at bottom. Centerfold reinforced where the binding strap has been removed. Remnants of framer's hinges on verso.

Estimate: $700 - $800

Sold for: $650

Closed on 9/20/2006