Catalog Archive
Auction 147, Lot 103

The Porcupine Map

"A Plan of the Harbour of Chebucto and Town of Halifax",

Subject: Halifax, Canada

Period: 1750 (published)

Publication: Gentlemen's Magazine

Color: Hand Color

10.5 x 8.7 inches
26.7 x 22.1 cm

This very attractive and early map of the town of Halifax and vicinity is commonly referred to as The Porcupine Map for its awkward depiction of a porcupine at lower right. The top of the map is oriented to the west. It includes Bedford "formerly call'd Torrington Bay," Cornwallis Island, and a grid plan of Halifax with fortifications. The map is decorated with coats of arms, the Ensign of Nova Scotia, a Musk Beetle, and the Orange Underwing Tyger and White Admirable butterflies. The seven coats-of-arms are of the baronets of Nova Scotia and include those of Pinkington, Pickering, Longueville, Musgrave, Meredith, Slingsby, and Gascoigne. Issued in the July 1750 issue of Gentlemen's Magazine. Kershaw attributes the map to Moses Harris due to his initials appearing in the vegetation below the title block. However, Jolly credits Thomas Jefferys because the butterflies depicted were a part of a collection advertised in the associated article as being on display at Jefferys' address in Caring Cross.

References: Jolly #GENT-70; Kershaw #813; Sellers & Van Ee #450.

Condition: B

Issued folding, now pressed flat, with a few scattered small abrasions, light soiling, some extraneous creases, and show-through of stamp on verso. The right margin, neatline, and a chip in the image adjacent to the porcupine's head have been professionally repaired using old paper with the neatline and a tiny amount of the image replaced in facsimile.

Estimate: $700 - $850

Sold for: $850

Closed on 11/20/2013