Catalog Archive
Auction 191, Lot 401

"Curacao, from the Dutch Originals, of Gerald Van Keulen, Regulated by Astronomical Observations", Jefferys/Sayer

Subject: Curacao

Period: 1775 (dated)

Publication: The West-India Atlas

Color: Hand Color

24.3 x 18.4 inches
61.7 x 46.7 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 is a great, large-scale map of Curacao in the Dutch Antilles just off the Venezuelan coast. It shows harbors, shoals and banks, Fort Amsterdam, plantations, salt pans, ruined houses, wells, anchorages and vegetation. The mountainous topography is shown by hachures. Includes an inset plan of Fort Amsterdam, present-day Willemstad, and four coastal profiles. Curacao was the center for the Dutch slave trade in the West Indies and changed hands between the various colonial powers several times in the 18th century. Drawn from the extremely rare map by Gerard van Keulen, this map by Jefferys is also quite uncommon.

References: Shirley (BL Atlases) M.JEF-4a #39.

Condition: B+

A crisp impression on a sheet with the watermarks of a large Strasbourg Lily and the initials "LVG." There are a few small stains, marginal soiling, and light toning that is a bit more pronounced in the blank margins.

Estimate: $1,900 - $2,200

Sold for: $1,400

Closed on 2/8/2023