Catalog Archive
Auction 187, Lot 335

Scarce Plan of English Siege of Cartagena During War of Jenkins' Ear

"Plan du Port de la Ville, et des Forteresses de Carthagene... / Plan van de Haven, Stadt en Kasteelen van Cartagena...", Covens & Mortier

Subject: Cartagena, Colombia

Period: 1741 (dated)

Publication: Atlas Nouveau, Contenant Toutes les Parties du Monde...

Color: Black & White

22.4 x 17.8 inches
56.9 x 45.2 cm
Download High Resolution Image
(or just click on image to launch the Zoom viewer)

This superb broadsheet-style plan shows the English siege during the War of Jenkins' Ear. In 1741 the large British fleet landed at Playa Grande, near Cartagena and began an unsuccessful assault on the city's defenses. The plan shows the surrounding fortresses and the positions of both the British and Spanish ships with panels of text at bottom keyed to the plan. Title and text are in French and Dutch above the plan.

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. One of its most notable episodes of the war was the expedition mounted against Cartagena, the main port of the Spanish colony in Colombia. The expedition ended in disaster, resulting from climate, disease, and the bungling of British commanders.

References: Kapp (MCC-77) #75.

Condition: A

A crisp impression on sturdy paper with minor soiling along the centerfold and in the blank margins. There are some tiny chips and tears along the edges of the sheet.

Estimate: $800 - $1,000

Sold for: $650

Closed on 4/27/2022