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Separately issued sea charts were the charts that allowed ships--the primary means of commercial, private and military transportation until the mid-nineteenth century--to navigate the seas and oceans of the world. These were the charts that were used by explorers, merchantmen, and naval captains and thus which oiled the wheels of history. Their desirability is enhanced by their great scarcity. This has two main causes. First, any sheet of paper being used on board a ship at sea was often subject to damage or even destruction. As well, it has always been considered important to destroy any out-of-date chart in case someone inadvertently might use it. An out-of-date chart can be extremely dangerous for ship and crew, so most were destroyed as soon as updated charts became available.
George W. Eldridge. "George W. Eldridge's Chart D Massachusetts Bay and the coast from Chatham to Boston and Gloucester." Boston: George W. Eldridge, 1895. Separately issued chart backed on linen for rolling. 36 1/2 x 49. Lithograph. Some marginal wear and repaired tear at top. Otherwise, good condition.
A George W. Eldridge chart of his home waters, showing Massachusetts Bay and the coast from Chatham, up to the tip of Cape Cod and then around as far as Gloucester northeast of Boston. Soundings are given throughout as are sailing directions. The coast line is accurately depicted with principal features, including towns and light houses. Also shown throughout are buoys, spars and beacons, identified in a key at bottom. This map was sold by Edward C. Lord, a ship chandler from Vineyard Haven, whose stamp appears on the chart. $1,800
A.D. Bache. "Coast Chart No. 111. From Monomoy and Nantucket Shoals To Muskeget Channel. Mass." Separately issued U.S. coastal chart; sheet 111. Washington: U.S. Coast Survey, 1889. 37 1/4 x 26 3/4. Engraved by G. McCoy, W. Phillips, and E.A. Maedel. Hand highlighting for lights. Very good condition.
A highly detailed chart showing Nantucket north to the south-eastern end of Cape Cod, a fine example of the output of the U.S. Coast Survey. The single-minded purpose of Ferdinand Hassler, a Swiss immigrant, is what first brought the Coast Survey into existence. As the first Superintendent of the Coast Survey, 1816-1818 and 1832-1843, he imbued the organization with love of "truth" and unswerving compromise with the twin principles of accuracy and precision. His motto was: "It is the duty of every man to be honest and to do good." Following his death in 1843, Alexander Dallas Bache, a great-grandson of Benjamin Franklin, took over the helm of the Coast Survey. Bache, with his friend Joseph Henry, was dedicated to elevating American science to the front ranks of the world community. As opposed to Hassler who was politically naive, Bache moved smoothly through the American political scene for the benefit of the Coast Survey and American science. The Coast Survey prospered during his tenure as Superintendent and became the first great science organization of the United States Federal Government. Professionally, he became a guiding light of the American Association for the Advancement of Science [presided over three of the first six meetings of the AAAS] and was a founder of the National Academy of Sciences. This chart reflects Hassler and Bache's dedication and care, and that of all the other superb scientists and craftsmen who worked for the U.S. Coast Survey.
This is the eastern sheet of a three sheet series of the southern Massachusetts coast, this sheet depicting from Hyannis to Chatham on Cape Cod, and the island of Nantucket. It was issued November 1890. This separately issued chart was intended for use for navigation and it contains all navigational information necessary for a ship's captain. Soundings and other navigational details are precisely depicted throughout the map. Interior information is shown in a narrow band along the Massachusetts' coast and for the entire interior of the island. $750
A.D. Bache. "Coast Chart No. 112. From Muskeget Channel to Buzzard's Bay and Entrance to Vineyard Sound Mass." Washington: U.S. Coast Survey, Oct. 29, 1889, corrected to Feb. 8, 1890. Separately issued U.S. coastal chart; sheet 112. 37 1/2 x 26 1/2. Engraved by G. McCoy, J. Enthffer, J. Knight and G.B Metzeroth. Hand highlighting for lights. Ring stain in Buzzard's Bay; otherwise, very good condition.
A highly detailed chart showing Martha's Vineyard and the surrounding waters, including Buzzard's Bay, a fine example of the output of the U.S. Coast Survey. This is the middle sheet of a three sheet series of the southern Massachusetts coast, this sheet depicting from New Bedford to Hyannis Port. It was first issued Oct. 29, 1889, and corrected to Feb. 8, 1890. This separately issued chart was intended for use for navigation and it contains all navigational information necessary for a ship's captain. Soundings and other navigational details are precisely depicted throughout the map. Interior information is shown in a narrow band along the Massachusetts' coast and for the entire interior of the island. $750
"Coast Chart No. 20. New York Bay and Harbor. New York." Washington: U.S. Coast Survey, 1866, corrected to 1879. Separately issued U.S. coastal chart; sheet 20. 32 1/2 x 26 1/8. Lithograph. With considerable spotting, especially on verso, some light stains, and creases/wrinkles, all from use. Some manuscript navigational marks.
A highly detailed chart showing New York Harbor and Bay, a fine example of the output of the U.S. Coast Survey. This chart shows evidence of heavy use, perhaps being used by a ship based in New York City. Soundings and other navigational details are precisely depicted throughout the map. Also included are sailing directions and tables on tides and currents. Precise and minute interior information is given for Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Staten Island. $1,200
Under the direction of F.R. Hassler and A.D. Bache. Set of three separately issued charts of "Long Island Sound." western part, middle part, eastern part Washington: U.S. Coast Survey, 1855-corrected to 1878/80. Each ca. 24 1/2 x 35. Engravings. With some spots, light staining and creases, but overall very good condition. With stamp; of "Michael Rupp & Co, Chronometer Makers." Ref: P.J. Guthorn, United States Coastal Charts 1783-1861. Pp. 65f.
Three extremely detailed U.S. Coastal Survey charts which when lined up delineate the entire Long Island Sound, from Block Island to the East River, and including the waterways around Manhattan. They present the finest depiction of Long Island Sound available in the late nineteenth century. $3,600
Under the direction of F.R. Hassler. "Eastern Part of Long Island Sound." Washington: U.S. Coast Survey, 1855-corrected to 1880. 24 1/2 x 34 1/2. Engraving. With some surface blemishes and pencil notations, and 9 inch repaired tear. Overall very good condition. With stamp; of "Michael Rupp & Co, Chronometer Makers."
A U.S. Coastal Survey chart of the eastern part of Long Island Sound, one part of the three sheet set (cf. above). $850
"New York Entrance." Washington: U.S. Coast Survey, 1875, corrected to 1884. Separately issued U.S. coastal chart. 31 1/4 x 38 1/2. Lithograph. Some manuscript navigational marks. Otherwise, excellent condition.
A highly detailed chart showing the entrance to New York Harbor, another good example of the output of the U.S. Coast Survey. This separately issued chart shows the approach to the Verrazzano Narrows, with the New Jersey coast in the lower left, Staten Island in the upper left, and the southwestern tip of Long Island (including Coney Island) in the upper right. The chart was intended for use for navigation (price 50 cents) and it contains all navigational information necessary for a ship's captain. Soundings and other navigational details are precisely depicted throughout the map. Also included are sailing directions and tables on tides, currents, and lighthouses. It is particularly interesting for the precise and highly detailed information of the interior of the coasts shown, with fields, roads, building and topography clearly delineated. $1,200
F.M. Thorn. "Delaware Entrance." Washington: U.S. Coast Survey, 1887. 30 x 42 (sheet). Engraving by F. Dankworth and O.A. Lawson. Full margins with some slight wear and soiling at edges. Separately issued (price 50 cents per sheet). Very good condition.
An extremely detailed chart of the Delaware Bay showing Cape May, Rehoboth and Cape Henlopen. First issued by F.M Thorn, Superintendent of the United Coastal Survey, in 1885, this separately issued chart was updated in 1887. The map contains descriptive notes, sailing directions, and information on tides, currents, soundings, and magnetic variations. Inland survey information is given on each side of the bay and river for some distance, showing towns, creeks, roads, fields, and much other detail. As it is a tradition for working charts such as this to be destroyed once out of date, these charts are quite rare. This is one of the best of those produced by the U.S. Coast Survey in the nineteenth century. $450
F.R. Hassler & A.D. Bache. "Chesapeake Bay From Head of Bay to Magothy River." Washington: U.S. Coastal Survey, 1863, corrected to 1885. Separately issued U.S. coastal chart; sheet 36. 29 1/4 x 37 1/2. Engraving by F. Dankworth, A. Rollé, J. Knight and G.B. Metzeroth. With label from Arthur L. Hopkins, Bangor, Maine. Excellent condition.
A U.S. Coastal Survey chart showing part of the northern-most part of the Chesapeake Bay, the top section in a series of charts showing the Chesapeake Bay. It was first issued in 1863 and corrected to 1886. Interior information is given along the coasts, with indications of fields, woods, roads, and communities, including Havre de Grace and Baltimore. $1,200
"Delaware River Wilmington to Philadelphia. Washington: U.S. Coast & Geodetic Survey, Oct 1936, corrected to February 9, 1937. Separately issued sea chart. 31 3/4 x 43 1/4. Printed in color. With folds and some staining, but overall very good.
A early 20th century sea chart of the Delaware River from Wilmington (shown in part) to Philadelphia (the southern half of which is depicted). With extensive information extending one to two miles inland from the river. $400
"General Chart of the Coast. No. XI. From Cape Hatteras to Cape Romain." Washington: U.S. Coastal Survey, 1882, printed Feb. 18, 1888. Separately issued U.S. coastal chart. 29 1/4 x 38 1/4. Lithograph. Hand highlights for lighthouses and beacons. Some crumpling to top margin. Some stains. Some manuscript navigational markings. Otherwise, very good condition.
A U.S. Coastal Survey chart showing from Cape Romain to Cape Hatteras. The nature of the land right along the coast is clearly depicted, including small images of Wilmington and Georgetown. Tables are included on the tides and lighthouses/beacons. $675
Charles Mahon. "Atlantic Coast of the United States. Cape Hatteras to Cape Canaveral." Washington: Hydrographic Department, Navy Department, 1884, to November 1889. Separately issued U.S. Navy chart. 44 1/2 x 29 3/4. Engraved by H.C. Evans. Hand highlights for lighthouses and beacons. A few spots and manuscript navigational notes, but otherwise very good condition.
Another U.S. Navy chart of the southeast coast of the U.S. from Cape Hatteras to Cape Canaveral, a few years later than the issue above. A table about the lighthouses and beacons is included. $725
"Coast Chart No. 156. From Savannah to Sapelo Island, Georgia." Washington: U.S. Coastal Survey, printed Nov 16, 1889, corrected to April 8, 1890. Separately issued U.S. coastal chart, no. 156. 41 x 32 1/4. Lithograph. Some crumpling and tears to margins. Otherwise, very good condition.
A U.S. Coastal Survey chart showing the Georgia coast from Savannah to Sapelo Island. The nature of the land along the coast is clearly depicted, including a pan of Savannah. Tables are included on the tides and lighthouses/beacons. $650
None currently available.
"Plano, Del puerta de Sagua la Grande. en la Costa Septentrional de la Isla De Cuba. Levantado De orden de la Direccion Gral. de Obras Publicas Por el segundo piloto D. Rodrigo de B.y. Estrada, Agrimensor e Ingeniero civil. 1858" Cuba(?), 1858. Lithograph. 22 x 20 1/4. With long repaired tear at top; expertly conserved. Otherwise, very good condition.
A very rare Spanish-language, working chart of the harbor of Sagua la Grande on the northern coast of Cuba. Includes extensive "Directions" in text and indications of the proper course to enter the harbor. Also shown are careful delineations of the islands, shoals, and soundings in the harbor, as well as a horizon view of the land from the sea. $475
"Barbados From Various Authorities." London: Admiralty, 31 July 1856, corrected to May 1862. 24 1/4 x 19. Engraving by J.& C. Walker. Very good condition.
A British Admiralty of Barbados. The Admiralty's charts were some of the best in the world and this depiction of Barbados is a good example of the quality of their output. The coastline is precisely delineated, with soundings given in the accessible southwest area and indications of shoals around much of the rest of the coast. The interior, with hatching for topography and indications of rivers, is filled with interesting information of buildings etc. As good a map as one could expect from this period. $575
"Gulf of Mexico, West Indies and Caribbean Sea." Washington: Hydrographic Office, Navy Department, July 1870. Separately issued U.S. Naval Chart. 24 x 84 1/2. Lithograph. A few stains.. Overall, very good condition for working chart.
A U.S. Navy chart of the southern Caribbean, extending form the south coast of Cuba to the north coast of South America, and from Vera Cruz to Windward Islands. The chart includes eight inset charts and some profiles to aid navigation. $750
"Havana, Island of Cuba, West Indies. From a Spanish Survey in 1854, corrected to 1871." No. 307 Washington DC: Hydrographic Office, U.S. Navy, 1871. 23 3/4 x 36 5/8. Lithotint. Tear in right margin, just into neat line; else, very good condition.
A nautical chart published by the U.S. Navy Hydrographic Office, with soundings for Havana Harbor. A handsome and detailed chart from the late 19th century. $1,400
"Trinidad and Gulf of Paria." Washington: Hydrographic Office, Navy Department, -1880. Separately issued U.S. Naval Chart. 38 x 48. Engraving. Land with colored tint. Wear in upper left. Overall, very good condition for working sea chart.
A U.S. Navy chart Trinidad and the Gulf of Paria to the west, based on British surveys "Corrected to 1872." This chart has an 1880 date stamp of chart seller F.W. Lincoln & Co. of Boston. The major topography of the island is depicted graphically and images of coastal profiles are scattered about the map. Part of Paria and the South American coastline are shown as well, and an inset map of the Rocas de Dragos included in the top left. $475
"West Indies. Island of Cuba." Washington: Hydrographic Department, Navy Department, Feb. 1886, to July 1888. Separately issued U.S. Navy chart. 26 1/2 x 43 3/8. Engraved by H.C. Evans and H.T. Knight. Hand highlighting for light houses and beacons. With long tear at left and numerous tears and missing oval of paper (about 1" x 4" semicircle in printed area); all expertly repaired. Otherwise, very good condition. A U.S. Navy chart of Cuba and surrounding waters. On this chart the interior of the island is blank, except for a few topographical features visible from the sea which are indicated. The coastline is precisely delineated. $650
None currently available.
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