Australia and the Pacific. Atlas of Maritime Charts Published by The British Admiralty.

£3,000

Large Folio, [740 x 520mm], half calf over marbled boards. Gilt morocco title-piece on upper cover. Cancelled stamp from the Admiralty on some charts, some wear to a few charts.

An interesting collection of 22 mostly large Maritime Charts of Australia, New Zealand, Islands of the Pacific and 2 of India, many double-page and folding, with coastal profiles, vignettes and inset charts. [ c. 1845- 1885].

Large Folio, [740 x 520mm], half calf over marbled boards. Gilt morocco title-piece on upper cover. Cancelled stamp from the Admiralty on some charts, some wear to a few charts.

An interesting collection of 22 mostly large Maritime Charts of Australia, New Zealand, Islands of the Pacific and 2 of India, many double-page and folding, with coastal profiles, vignettes and inset charts. [ c. 1845- 1885].

These surveys are by some prominent naval officers and hydrographers. Four of the charts are surveys by J.L.Stokes, who served for 18 years on Darwin’s ship the ‘ Beagle’; one by Phillip Parker King who also sailed with Darwin; Sir E. Belcher and Cpt.G.E.Nares are also represented.

The Charts comprise: Pacific Ocean. Caroline Islands- Ronkiti Haven. Lt Reynolds & Evans, 1845; Anchorages East Coast Australia. Portmoue & Kennedy Sound. 2 charts on one sheet, Cpt Mc Clear, 1884; New Zealand, North Island East Coast, Mercury Bay. Cdr. Drury, 1857; New Zealand, Nelson Anchororages. Cpt J.L.Stokes, 1853; New Zealand, Chatham Island.Profiles and Inset Charts, M.Fournier, 1842; Fiji, Port Nukulau. Cpt Sir E. Belcher, 1856; Tasmania, Entrance to MacQuarrie Harbour, Cpt. Mostyn Field; Tasmania, MacQuarie Harbour, G.W.Evans, 1845; Tasmania, Brimble & Schooner Coves, Lt G.E.Nares & Lt Pasco; New South Wales, Bateman Bay. Lt Gowland, 1869; Australia South Coast. Doubtful Islands to Head of Great Australia Bight, Cdr. Archdeacon, 1881, large double page chart; New Zealand, Waitemata River. Cdr. Drury, 1857, large double-page chart; New Zealand, Wangari Harbour. Cpt Stokes, 1851,large double-page chart; S. W. Pacific, Anchorage in the Soloman Islands. Cpt Wawn, 1888, 9 inset Charts, large double-page chart; N.W & W.Coast of Australia. Cdr. Phillip King, with 2 inset plans, 1878, large double-page chart; India. Bombay Harbour, inset plan. Cdr. Wish, 1865, large double-page chart; West Bombay Harbour. Profiles. Cdr. Dawson, 1885, large double page and folding chart; New Zealand, Kawhia Harbour. Cdr. Drury, 1857, Profiles, large double-page chart; New Guinea. Papua. Cpt. Owen Stanley, 1851, m.s.notes, large double-page chart; New Zealand, Bay of Islands. Cpt. Stokes, 1857, large double-page chart; New Zealand, Otago Harbour, inset chart. Cpt. Stokes, 1855, large double-page chart.

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.

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