Catalog Archive
Auction 185, Lot 146

"An Exact Chart of the River St. Laurence, from Fort Frontenac to the Island of Anticosti Shewing the Soundings, Rocks, Shoals &c. with Views of the Lands...", Jefferys/Sayer

Subject: Colonial Northeastern United States & Canada

Period: 1775 (dated)


Color: Hand Color

37.4 x 23.7 inches
95 x 60.2 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.

This large-scale map of the St. Lawrence River was first issued in 1757. It is based on the surveys of Jean Desayes with an updated depiction of the river from Lake Ontario to Quebec based on D'Anville. This great navigational chart is complete with soundings, rhumb lines, sailing directions, and coastal profiles. The central part of the map shows the river from Anticosti Island to Quebec, and it includes a number of insets depicting important sections of the river with greater detail. It was reissued in 1775 by Sayer and Bennet prompted by the growing tensions between the British government and its colonies that generated an increasing demand for maps of North America. Printed on two sheets, joined as issued.

References: Kershaw #669; Shirley (BL Atlases) T.JEF-2a #9.

Condition: B+

Contemporary outline color in the map with later color in the decorative elements, on sturdy sheets with the watermarks of a Strasburg lily and the initials "RG." Issued folding with a couple of archivally repaired fold separations, light offsetting, minor soiling, and a short extraneous crease at bottom.

Estimate: $500 - $600

Sold for: $500

Closed on 11/17/2021