Catalog Archive

Auction 168, Lot 226

"Plano del Puerto y Bahia de Monte Rey Situado en la Costa de Californs...",

Subject: Monterey Bay, California

Period: 1791 (dated)

Publication: Atlas del Viage de las Goletas Sutil y Mexicana...

Color: Black & White

7.1 x 9.4 inches
18 x 23.9 cm

This rare map of Monterey Bay appeared in the atlas accompanying Jose Espinos y Tello's Relacion del Viage Hecho por las Goletas Sutil y Mexicana..., published in 1802. One of the first maps of the bay based on original surveys, its source is the Malaspina Expedition, the most important voyage of discovery dispatched by Spain in the 18th century. Italian explorer Alejandro Malaspina and his partner Jose de Bustamante y Guerra took dual command of the twin corvettes of the Spanish Navy, Descubierta and Atrevida, for a five-year voyage (1789-94) from Cadiz, Spain, to South America, Alaska, and Australia before returning home to Spain. The goals of the expedition were to increase geographic and scientific knowledge and to monitor the status of the Spanish empire. In 1790, Malaspina received orders from Charles IV, the new king of Spain, to search for an entrance to the Northwest Passage. This mission took him from Acapulco to Yakutat Bay, Alaska, where the passage was rumored to be. Finding only an inlet, the expedition meticulously surveyed the Alaskan coast west to Prince William Sound. Upon abandoning the futile search for the mythical passage, the expedition spent a month at the Spanish outpost in Nootka Sound. They then stopped at Monterey before returning to Mexico.

This map of the bay features navigational information including depth soundings and anchorages. It identifies the Presidio of Monterey, the missions at San Carlos and Santa Cruz, and present-day Carmel-By-The-Sea. Drawn by Cardano and engraved by Mortalo.

References: Wagner (NW) #790.

Condition: B+

A nice impression, issued folding, with minor offsetting. There is a binding trim at left that has been replaced with old paper and an archivally repaired associated tear that enters 0.5" into the neatline.

Estimate: $500 - $650


Closed on 6/6/2018