Catalog Archive
Auction 167, Lot 66

"A Chart of the Gulf of St. Laurence, Composed from a Great Number of Actual Surveys and Other Materials, Regulated and Connected by Astronomical Observations", Jefferys/Sayer & Bennett

Subject: Gulf of St. Lawrence

Period: 1775 (dated)

Publication: American Atlas

Color: Hand Color

19.6 x 24.2 inches
49.8 x 61.5 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.

First state of this handsome sailing chart of the gulf, embracing Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, and New Britain, complete with rhumb lines, soundings, shoals, and numerous notations. The coastlines are presented in great detail, naming a profusion of harbors and ports. A table of Astronomical Observations lists the latitude and longitude of various major ports. This is an excellent example of the work of Thomas Jefferys, one of the most outstanding English cartographers of the late 18th century.

Jefferys was geographer to the Prince of Wales, later King George III, and the leading map supplier of his day. Jefferys died in November 1771 and his successors, Robert Sayer and John Bennett, gathered several separately published maps to form The American Atlas, the most important 18th-century atlas of America.

References: Kershaw #597, Phillips (M) p. 762.

Condition: B+

On a watermarked sheet with light offsetting and a few small spots. There are short centerfold separations confined to the blank margins.

Estimate: $450 - $550

Sold for: $250

Closed on 3/28/2018