Auction 160, Lot 421

"Bequia or Becouya, the Northernmost of the Granadilles, Surveyed in 1763", Jefferys/Laurie & Whittle

Subject: Bequia, the Grenadines

Period: 1794 (dated)


Color: Hand Color

18.3 x 12.7 inches
46.5 x 32.3 cm

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 is a later version of Thomas Jefferys' map showing the survey of 1763, which was undertaken when the island was granted to the British in the Treaty of Paris. Bequia is the northernmost and largest island in the Grenadines. The map shows a few buildings, fortifications, roads and harbors, which were built by French who settled the island in the early 1700s. The isolated island was also a favorite base for several infamous pirates including Captain Edward Teach, Sir Francis Drake, and Henry Morgan. In the 18th century Admiralty Bay was the safest natural harbor in the Eastern Caribbean in which to seek refuge from hurricanes. The island is now a favorite yachting destination.


Condition: B

A nice impression with full original color that is moderately oxidized.

Estimate: $350 - $425


Closed on 11/16/2016