Catalog Archive
Auction 118, Lot 511

"The Atlantic Ocean by Governor Pownall F.R.S.", Jefferys/Sayer & Bennett

Subject: Atlantic Ocean

Period: 1787 (dated)

Publication: The West-India atlas…

Color: Hand Color

25 x 19.3 inches
63.5 x 49 cm

Striking and very scarce sea chart focuses on the Atlantic Ocean and shows coastal detail of Hudson Bay, Greenland, Iceland, Europe, West Africa, the Spanish Main, the Caribbean and the east coast of North America. The sea is meticulously mapped with arrows charting currents, directional lines for winds, and an unusual shaded area to indicate the Gulf Stream, or Florida Stream. This map is one of the earliest to correctly indicate the Gulf Stream, after Benjamin Franklin's famous map of 1786. This chart also refers to the slave trade, from the manuscript notations that are contemporary with the creation of the map. There is a note in Africa that states in an abbreviated form: Whydah Road, lies in Lat. 6°, 27' N, and from Norris's Mem. Long: 3° 42' E:. This refers to a book published by a slave trader titled, Memoirs of the Reign of Bossa Adahee, King of Dahomy… A Short Account of the African Slave Trade by Robert Norris, published in 1789. There is also a manuscript route, laid down with aid of a compass that shows the route from Liverpool, where Norris left, to Africa and then the Middle Passage picks up from an established course to the Caribbean, where the slaves would be sold. A previous owner of this map used it to track a slave-trading voyage to Whydah (now called Ouidah in present-day Benin), located at that time in Guinea on the Gold Coast.

References: The Map Collector 15, pg 8.

Condition: B

Centerfold tear right of lower centerfold, repaired with archival tissue on verso. A few light stains and manuscript contemporary to map - see description.

Estimate: $1,500 - $1,800


Closed on 3/6/2007