Catalog Archive
Auction 191, Lot 397

"Martinico, Done from Actual Surveys and Observations, Made by English Engineers Whilst the Island Was in Their Possession", Jefferys, Thomas

Subject: Martinique

Period: 1775 (circa)

Publication: West Indian Atlas

Color: Hand Color

24.1 x 18.2 inches
61.2 x 46.2 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 map was prepared by English engineers when Martinique was held by the British during the French and Indian War. The map is filled with amazing detail throughout the island, including numerous sugar works, villages, roads, coastal features, anchorages, and topography. A large inset (9x6") gives further detail around Cul de Sac Royal showing the Fort Royal, the Town, Fond Gueltier, and more. Adorned with a large compass rose. First state without the Gallion Harbor inset added in the 1798 Laurie & Whittle edition.

References: Sellers & Van Ee #2063; Shirley (BL Atlases) M.JEF-4a #31.

Condition: A

Contemporary outline color on a sturdy sheet with a Strasbourg Lily watermark. There is a slight printer's crease at bottom center and marginal soiling. There are small chips, crease, and tears in the corners of the sheet.

Estimate: $400 - $475

Sold for: $300

Closed on 2/8/2023