Auction 149, Lot 373

"Plan of the Road and Town of La Guayra on the Coast of Caraccas... [on sheet with] Plan of Puerto Cavello on the Coast of the Caracas", Laurie & Whittle

Subject: Venezuela

Period: 1794 (dated)

Publication: The West India Atlas

Color: Hand Color

10.5 x 17.4 inches
26.7 x 44.2 cm

This rare sheet includes plans of two of the most important port cities in Venezuela. At top is a plan of La Guaira, which was originally founded in 1589 as the gateway to Caracas, and is now the capital of the modern state of Vargas. The plan depicts fortified walls and numerous buildings, including a church, prison, warehouse, watch house, and Fort Colorado. Rocks, shoals, soundings, and safe anchorages are depicted in the surrounding waters. The plan was made by an officer under Sir Charles Knowles, who attacked the port in 1743 during the War of Jenkins' Ear in an attempt to weaken the Spanish stronghold. The British were defeated due to their underestimation of the port's defenses.

After the failed attack of La Guaira, Knowles refitted his ships and attempted an assault on Puerto Cabello, shown in the plan at bottom. Knowles was again beaten by the defenders and forced to withdraw his force. This plan of Puerto Cabello identifies a stony beach, mangroves, salt pans, and an area of swampy ground. The plan is based on the work of Lieutenant Jones in 1741.

References: Phillips (M) p. 728.

Condition: B+

Heavy, watermarked paper with a few spots of foxing and marginal soiling.

Estimate: $350 - $450

Sold for: $250

Closed on 5/21/2014