Copper engraved sea chart, from Collins’ ‘Great Britain’s Coasting Pilot’, had coloured, inset profile of Anglesey, Holy-Head and the Skerries islands, decorative title cartouche, sea embellished with ships, large compass rose, rhumb lines, slight toning, central vertical fold, London, Mount and Davidson, c.1750.
In 1676 King Charles II commissioned Captain Greenville Collins to chart the coasts of Great Britain. An officer to the Royal Navy and prominent hydrographer, the atlas Collins produced was the first original sea atlas to be produced by an Englishman. Although not entirely accurate, the charts were an enormous advance on anything before them. Prior to these maps, there was no centralised system for collecting and disseminating maps made by experienced seamen. Collins spent seven years on the survey, the first edition of which was published in 1693. ‘Great Britain’s Coasting Pilot’ earned Collins to rank as not only one of the earliest, but also among the best of English hydrographers.