Catalog Archive
Auction 142, Lot 708

"The Colony of Western Australia from the Surveys of John Septimus Roe Esqr. Surveyor Genl. and from other Official Documents in the Colonial Office and Admiralty", Arrowsmith, John

Subject: Australia

Period: 1850 (circa)

Publication: The London Atlas of Universal Geography

Color: Hand Color

24 x 20.5 inches
61 x 52.1 cm
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This incredibly detailed map of Western Australia documents the surveys of John Septimus Roe, one of the continent’s most prominent explorers and Western Australia’s first Surveyor General. Roe was among the first settlers of the Swan River Colony, established the sites of Perth and Freemantle, and conducted numerous survey expeditions between 1829 and 1849. The map also records the explorations of A. Collie (1832), G.F. Moore (1836), P. Broun (1836), Lt. Bunbury (1836), A. Hillman (1833 & 1835), and Lt. Preston (1831). The map includes five inset plans of the major settlements: Guildford, Freemantle, Perth, Augusta, and Kelmscott. These plans include updated information including names of landholders and land allotments. This is the sixth state of the map with new information from Roe’s expedition of 1848 replacing an additional inset of Perth at center right. The eastern part of Wellington County has been extensively updated and there are voluminous additions throughout. This state is evidenced by the erased copyright date in the imprint at bottom.

John Arrowsmith’s mapping of the colony began with his Discoveries in Western Australia, published between 1833 and 1838. As the colony grew this new map replaced it to permit information on the northern and eastern regions of the rapidly expanding colony. Arrowsmith’s maps of the British colonies in Australia were the largest scale maps produced during the early part of the 19th century. Drawn largely from official sources and surveys, his work is of utmost importance in the cartographic history of Australia.

References: Tooley (Aust) #130; Prescott (

Condition: B+

Original outline color. There is a small area of toning at right resulting from the atlas page tab on verso and a short fold separation in the bottom blank margin.

Estimate: $500 - $650

Sold for: $850

Closed on 11/28/2012