Catalog Archive
Auction 156, Lot 388

Rare Chart of the Battle of Cartagena

"A Plan and Prospect of the Harbour, Town, & Castles of Carthagena", Durell, Philip

Subject: Cartagena Bay, Colombia

Period: 1743 (dated)


Color: Hand Color

29.5 x 20.5 inches
74.9 x 52.1 cm
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This scarce chart of Cartagena was published two years after the Battle of Cartagena and highlights the defenses of the port and bay as well as the locations of various fleets. The Battle of Cartagena was an unsuccessful large-scale attack by British and American colonial troops during the War of Jenkins' Ear, part of the War of the Austrian Succession. The attack was led by Admiral Edward Vernon, who, although unsuccessful in Cartagena, gained much acclaim for his victories elsewhere in the Caribbean. The map presents the town of Cartagena in a simple block pattern, with various forts and castles surrounding the bay, identified in a lettered key at top with notations of the number of guns in each. The surrounding countryside is filled with hills and vegetation. Vignettes of four forts and two castles are depicted in insets, along with a large panoramic view of the city of Cartagena. Two compass roses in the bay orient north to the left of the chart, and the bay is filled with notations of depth soundings, rocks and shoals. The locations of the fleets of Admiral Vernon, Admiral Chaloner Ogle, and Commodore Richard Lestock, are shown using a color-coded key, with the locations of various shipwrecks also identified. The map is dedicated to Vernon by Captain Philip Durell. Drawn by Durell and engraved by William Henry Toms. Below the neatline at bottom is the list price for the map: "Price 2 S. There are some colourd in a beautiful manner Price 4 S." The elaborate title cartouche features emblems of war. Separately issued.

This chart is extremely rare, and we have only found 1 example of this map for sale in the last 30 years.

References: Kapp (MCC-77) #77.

Condition: B+

Attractive color on watermarked paper with light toning, minor soiling, and several printer's creases adjacent to the centerfold. There are archival repairs to a number of short tears in the blank margins, several of which enter less than 1" into the map at bottom.

Estimate: $800 - $950

Sold for: $3,500

Closed on 2/17/2016