Catalog Archive
Auction 146, Lot 321

"Tobago from Actual Surveys and Observations", Jefferys/Laurie & Whittle

Subject: Tobago

Period: 1810 (dated)

Publication: West-India Atlas

Color: Hand Color

24.6 x 18.8 inches
62.5 x 47.8 cm
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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 classic map of Tobago illustrates the rapid development of sugar plantations. Each large division is noted with the number of estates (286) and acreages (52,058). Only a few small, mountainous portions of the island are Reserved in Wood for Rains. The map depicts the Indian villages, watering places, forts (including a demolished French fort), rocks, shoals, and anchorages with very specific navigational notations. Two large insets depict Great & Little Courland Bays and Man of War Bay. First issued in 1775, this is the 1810 edition.

References: Sellers & Van Ee #2110.

Condition: B

A nice impression with toning, a hint of offsetting, and archivally repaired centerfold separations confined to blank margins.

Estimate: $700 - $850


Closed on 9/4/2013