Auction 165, Lot 366

"Plan of the Great Bay of Cul de Sac Royal, with the Town, and Environs of Port Royal, in the Island of Martinique...", Jefferys, Thomas

Subject: Fort-de-France Bay, Martinique

Period: 1765 (circa)


Color: Black & White

27.9 x 23.1 inches
70.9 x 58.7 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 extremely rare map depicts the Bay of Fort-de-France (previously known as Fort Royal) on the western coast of Martinique, the initial site of the Invasion of Martinique by the British in January and February 1762. There is excellent detail of the topography, roads, and villages along the coast, while soundings, rocks, shoals, and navigational notations fill the bay. At bottom is a lettered key identifying the locations of 7 different batteries, along with remarks regarding the bay. he map is based on a survey conducted by Captain John Stott and commissioned by Vice Admiral Sir George Bridges Rodney.

Although Jefferys' smaller plan of Fort-de-France Bay can occasionally be found on the market, we were not able to find any examples of this larger chart for sale in the last 30 years.


Condition: B+

On sturdy paper with a large fleur-de-lis watermark, light soiling and minor creasing.

Estimate: $300 - $500

Sold for: $450

Closed on 11/15/2017