Catalog Archive
Auction 174, Lot 292

"Ruatan or Rattan, Surveyed by Lieutenant Henry Barnsley, with Improvements", Jefferys/Sayer

Subject: Roatan, Honduras

Period: 1775 (dated)

Publication: The West Indian Atlas

Color: Hand Color

24.3 x 18.3 inches
61.7 x 46.5 cm
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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.

Finely engraved chart featuring the island of Ruatan, known today as Roatan. In the 18th century New Port Royal was the location of a pirate settlement after an earthquake destroyed the original Port Royal in Jamaica. Two large insets: "Old Providence and Sta. Catalina" and "New Port-Royal Harbour." These charts are extremely detailed and show the locations of settlements, forts, reefs, safe harbors, and fresh water. A large compass rose occupies the center of the chart that was surveyed by Lieutenant Henry Barnsley with improvements by Thomas Jefferys and issued by Robert Sayer.

References: Shirley (BL Atlases) M.JEF-4a #25.

Condition: A

A crisp impression, issued on a sturdy sheet of paper with a large fleur-de-lis coat of arms watermark. There is a hint of offsetting and minor marginal soiling.

Estimate: $200 - $240

Sold for: $300

Closed on 9/11/2019