Lot 98 of 235:
1849 Pacific chart with pencil tracks of ships  

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Lot closed - Sold For (Includes Buyers Premium):$1,800
$3,000 - $5,000

North Pacific Ocean

Blunt, Edward and George W.

London, Connecticut




Engraved chart. Blue-back, but the backing is not original. With large inset of the Hawaiian Islands in upper left, smaller inset, "Part of Upper California," below it. Overall 93x132 cm (36½x53").

Large chart of the northern Pacific Ocean and the whole west coast of North America, notable for, among other features, many ship tracks in pencil, the earliest dated 1853, most of the others 1854 to 1856. The main chart extends from 0º to 65.12º north latitude and from east longitude 158º to west longitude 81º (from Kamchatka to Atlantic side of Panama). On the main chart towns and missions along the coast are located and named. In the East Bay, Castro and S. Leandro are located. The Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers are shown, Tule Lakes and the Sierra Nevada. The inset of northern California extends from San Simeon to Bodega Bay and a bit east of Mt. Diablo but without any detail. Rancho of Castro and Rancho of Peralta are located in the East Bay. Regarding the ship tracks in pencil, the earliest  date is for the Brig Oriental  dated 1853 coming from south of the equator turning east when north and west of Hawaii and going to San Francisco. Most are for the ship Far West, dates running from 1854 to 1856. The position of Fanning Island has been corrected in manuscript by moving it about 1º west to about the correct position: 3º 52' N. Lat, 159º W. Long. Fanning is now named Tabuaeran. The chart is rare.

Further Notes from the Files of Warren Heckrotte

Provenance: Martayan-Lan, 5/09

The New York Times "Maritime Intelligence" notes several instances of the Far West arriving in New York City from New Orleans. The Oriental left Maine in 1849 for San Francisco. The Far West  was in SF Bay in 1850; see Delgado, To California by Sea. I have a Blunt chart of the west coast from the Gulf of Dulce to San Francisco, 1848. The rendition of the California coast is much different than on this chart - one year makes a difference. The date in the lower margin is 1850. Does this indicate a new issue?

References: Burstyn, Harold, At the Sign of the Quadrant. This is a history of the Blunts. It does not provide details of their charts or a listing. At this time of writing their was no compilation of their charts. Among their many publications was Sailing Directions for the West Coast of North America, from Bodega Cape to San Lucas, 1849. A companion to this chart?

Lot Amendments

There are four long tears skillfully repaired with minor loss; the blueback is not the original; there is some loss in the lower right margin where the Galapagos Islands are located; overall very good.

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