Auction 136, Lot 338

"Preliminary Chart of Charleston Harbor and its Approaches…", U.S. Coast Survey

Subject: Charleston, South Carolina

Period: 1856 (dated)


Color: Black & White

31.8 x 30.8 inches
80.8 x 78.2 cm

The Office of Coast Survey is the oldest U.S. scientific organization, dating from 1807 when Congress directed that a "survey of the coast" be carried out. By 1836, it was called the U.S. Coast Survey and in 1878, the name was changed to the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey. Today the Office of Coast Survey is a division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration NOAA.

The survey teams, composed of civilians as well as Army and Naval officers, charted the nation's waterways and produced a wide array of reports, survey charts, hydrographic studies of tides and currents, astronomical studies and observations, and coastal pilots. These charts are an important record of the changing nature of the nation's coastlines. In additional to coastal charts, the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey produced land sketches, Civil War battle maps, and the early aeronautical charts.

This fine chart of Charleston Harbor extends to show Charlestown and further inland to the confluence of the Cooper and Wando Rivers and part of the Ashley River. It locates the forts of Sumter and Moultrie. It includes soundings, navigational channels, hazards, beacons and lighthouses. For a coastal chart, the inland detail is remarkable with plans of Charleston, Mount Pleasant and Moultrieville, plus land and rivers delineated. St. Michaels and St. Phillips are named in Charleston and the light ship at Rattlesnake Shoals is noted. Two sea views at bottom show the coastline as seen from onboard an approaching vessel.


Condition: B+

Folding as issued with a few splits on fold intersections and minor toning. There is an irregular binding trim into the neatline at bottom left.

Estimate: $170 - $220

Sold for: $130

Closed on 6/1/2011