A Collection of 47 of Maritime Charts of Europe, copper engraved, mostly double-page, many with coastal profiles, vignettes, inset charts, former working maps, cancelled stamp from the Admiralty on some charts, some wear and position markings, London, published by the Admiralty, [1824- 1915] Updated c.1930s
Most of these charts are provided from surveys by foreign governments, but also include surveys by some prominent naval officers. Four of the charts are surveys by Captain A.L. Mansel of the H.M.S. Hydra, two by Commander G.R. Wilkinson of the H.M.S. Firefly and Capt G.S. Nares of the H.M.S. Newport.
Comprising of: Island of Corsica, 1824; France South Coast, 1845; Western Part of Candia or Crete, 1852; Gulf of Naples, 1857; Santa Maura, Ithaca and Cephalonia Islands with the Adjacent Coasts, 1864; Mazzara to Palma, Including the Island of Pantellaria, 1864-70; Palma to Catania, 1867-70; Brindisi Harbour, 1872; Catania to Cefalu, Including the Strait of Messina, 1868-73; Cefalu to Mazzara, Including the Island of Ustica, 1868-73; Adriatic, 1879; CivitaVecchia to Naples, 1883-8; Naples to Cape Bonifati, 1883-8; C. Cavallo to Civita Vecchia and Adjacent Islands, 1884; Cape Bonifati to Strait of Messina, 1876-88; Cape San Antonio to Cape Tortosa, 1888; Cartagena to Cape San Antonio, 1888; Policastro to Cape S. Maria di Leuca Including the Straits of Messina, 1888; Gulfs of Lions and Genoa, 1888; Marseille, 1898; Gibraltar to Adra, 1890; Adra to Cartagena, 1890; Cape Tortosa to Cape St. Sebastian, 1890; Gibraltar to Adra, 1890; Marseilles, 1898; Venetico I. to Spezzia I. including the Channels Between Cape Malea and Crete, 1902; San Remo to Cape Cavallo, 1908; Approaches to Marseiil, 1910; Sete to Marseilles, 1912; San Ciprian Bay to Cape Finisterre, 1915; Cape Penas to Pontevedra Bay, 1915; South Coast of Ireland to Malta: Chart for Plotting Positions by Wireless Bearings, 1921; Eastern Approaches to the Strait of Gibraltar, 1923; The Faro or Strait of Messina, 1925; Burling Island to Cape Espichel Including the Approaches to the River Tagus, 1927; Cape Ferrat to Bordighera, 1927; Marseille to Agay Road, 1927; Approaches to Toulon, 1927; West Coast of Spain and Portugal, Cape Finisterre to Cape St. Vincent, 1928; Mediterranean Archipelago, 1929; Approaches to Marseilles, 1932; Malta to Crete with Portions of the coast of Libya, 1932; Mediterranean and Black Seas, 1933; Eastern Approaches to the Strait of Gibraltar, 1933; Marseilles to Agay Road, 1935; Tyrrhenian Sea, 1936; Gibraltar to Alicante, Cape Sparte to Cape Ferrat, 1937.
These Admiralty charts or hydrographic charts were produced by the British Admiralty. The Hydrographic Office was established as a sub-department of the Admiralty in 1795 and issued its first officially published Admiralty chart in November 1800.
Most Admiralty charts delineate the coastline and high and low water marks, and record the depth of water as established from soundings. They record navigational hazards such as reefs and wrecks, and navigational aids, such as lights, buoys and beacons. Most charts have a compass indicator, often an elaborate compass rose. They also have some indication of scale, either a scale bar or representative fraction, or a border showing degrees of latitude and longitude.
One of the characteristics of an Admiralty chart is that it is continually updated and corrected. Obsolete charts were regarded as dangerous and were to be destroyed because they presented a potential navigational hazard. Dates of survey and compilation are minutely recorded, as are those of the corrections continually made to maintain the accuracy and utility of the chart. These corrections were often made by amending the existing copper plates on which the chart was engraved and re-publishing it as a new edition; in other instances, the chart was completely re-drawn. However, in the early years of the Hydrographic Office, published Admiralty charts were drawn on earlier surveys. In extreme cases this means that some charts may be based on surveys made more than a century earlier. For example, Admiralty chart 751, the chart of Maculla Bay which was listed in the first published catalogue of 1825, bears a survey date of 1703. They are also numbered in manuscript to record when they were updated.
Some Admiralty charts contain little information on areas inland of the foreshore other than that required to assist in making a landfall. Others include extensive representations of land features and may also have coastal elevations and topographic views as insets. Nineteenth-century charts in particular may include ground plans of sites of archaeological interest, or details of coastal forts and other defences, as well as pictures of natural features. Some insets contain detailed charts of harbours. Admiralty charts record names given to coastal features and include many names no longer in use today. In many instances they also provide the best and most easily accessible maps of small oceanic islands. Some charts record surveys of navigable rivers.
This collection of charts records the date of the survey, the captain, officer and in many cases the ship or ships that took part.