Chart of Cape of Good Hope (A plan of Table Bay with the road of the Cape of Good Hope)
Superb and rare
Date of first edition: 1740 (van Keulen)
Date of this map: 1794 (Robert Laurie and James Wittle)
Dimensions (not including margins): 48,5 x 53 cm
Condition: Very good. Old colouring. Strong paper and wide margins .
Condition rating: A+
Let’s dream away
This superb chart was made by Johannes van Keulen in 1740, but published by Robert Laurie and James Wittle in 1797 in London.
A central compass rose orients north to the left and there are scales in Dutch miles and sea leagues. A wealth of detail shows the meandering course of the Salt River entering the bay just east of Capetown which is shown in detail with the fort, Company Gardens and the Gallows highlighted. Further one notices Table Mountain, flanked by Devil’s Mount and Lyon’s Mount. In the bay the Anchoring Ground and Robben Island are surrounded by depth soundings and to the top left there is an inset engraving “A South View of the Cape bt Monsieur L’Abbé de la Caille”.
Laurie & Whittle refers to the partnership of Robert Laurie (1755?-1836) and James Whittle (1757-1818), engravers and map publishers. Both men were employed by Robert Sayer (ca. 1724-1794), one of the most prominent British publishers and map sellers of the eighteenth century. Sayer died in 1794 and his business was taken over by his assistants. The two worked together as Laurie & Whittle until 1812, when Laurie retired. They were especially known for publishing sea charts and maritime atlases. From 1812-1818, when he died, Whittle worked with Laurie’s son, Richard Holmes Laurie, as Whittle & Laurie. After 1818, the firm was known as R. H. Laurie, even though Richard died in 1858. Later, the firm was managed by Laurie’s draughtsman, Alexander George Findlay, and, later, Daniel and William Kettle.
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