Catalog Archive
Auction 174, Lot 296

Separately-Issued Sheet Illustrating the War of Jenkins' Ear

"The Seat of War in the West Indies, Containing New & Accurate Plans of the Havana, la Vera Cruz, Cartagena and Puerto Bello...", Foster, George

Subject: Gulf of Mexico & Caribbean

Period: 1740 (dated)


Color: Hand Color

18.2 x 15.4 inches
46.2 x 39.1 cm
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This is a separately-issued sheet containing a compendium of charts illustrating the War of Jenkins' Ear. At upper left is a map of the West Indies with insets of St. Augustine and the Bay of Hondo. The balance of the sheet consists of fine charts of the most important Spanish ports of the region: Puerto Bello, Cartagena, Vera Cruz and Havana. Along the bottom is a profile view of Havana attributed to Admiral Vernon, commander of the British fleet. Of particular interest is the plan of St. Augustine, which was the objective of General Oglethorpe, commander of the colonial forces. The maps are filled with notations including some blatant political propaganda. Engraved by Emanuel Bowen.

The War of Jenkins' Ear had an improbable and theatrical origin. After fifty years of colonial boundary disputes and growing trade competition in the New World, relations between Britain and Spain were extremely strained. The war was named after Robert Jenkins, captain of the ship Rebecca, who claimed Spanish coast guards had cut off his ear in 1731. Seven years later Jenkins was invited by a party of warmongers to tell his story and display his ear to Parliament, thereby inflaming British and colonial American opinion against Spain, and resulting in a declaration of war.


Condition: B+

A crisp impression with minor toning and soiling, a small hole in Louisiana, and a couple of short edge tears at bottom that have been closed on verso.

Estimate: $1,400 - $1,700

Sold for: $1,000

Closed on 9/11/2019