Auction 140, Lot 796

"[On 2 Sheets] The East Indies, with the Roads…", Jefferys/Laurie & Whittle

Subject: Southern Asia

Period: 1794 (dated)


Color: Hand Color

54.3 x 21 inches
137.9 x 53.3 cm

Thomas Jefferys was one of the most important English map publishers of the 18th century. His work included prints and maps of locations around the world, but his most notable maps are of North America and the West Indies. He began his career in the map trade in the early 1730s, working as an engraver for a variety of London publishers, and eventually setting up his own shop. In 1746, he was appointed Geographer to the Prince of Wales, and in 1760 he became Geographer to the King. These titles granted access to manuscripts and cartographic information held by the government. In the early 1760s he embarked on an ambitious project to produce a series of English county maps based on new surveys, but ran out of money and filed for bankruptcy in 1766. He then partnered with London publisher Robert Sayer, who reissued many of Jefferys plates and continued to issue new editions after Jefferys' death in 1771. Jefferys' American Atlas and the accompanying West-India Atlas, published post posthumously, are considered his most important cartographic works.

This impressive wall-sized map by Jeffreys was the most detailed to date. It extends to include parts of present-day Pakistan in the west to Burma and the Andaman Islands in the east, and reaches up to Tibet in the north. The map was of great importance during the British expansion in the area, and contains a combination of detailed, well-explored areas and large tracts of unknown land. Southern India, Sri Lanka and Bahar Bengal (Bangladesh) are well defined, with details of roads, caravan routes, oases, temples, cities, treaty lines, archeological sites, mountain ranges, lakes, swamps and rivers. The map is dedicated to the Directors of the East India Company. Printed from four plates, joined in two horizontal sheets. Later issue of the map first published in 1763.


Condition: B

Issued folding, with light offsetting and minor soiling. There are a few tiny holes at fold intersections and some fold separations, most of which have been closed on verso with archival materials. Trimmed close to neatline at top.

Estimate: $475 - $600

Sold for: $350

Closed on 5/23/2012