JEFFERYS, Thomas (1719-1771), et al. The West-India Islands; From Actual Survey and Observations. London: Robert Laurie and James Whittle, 1796.

$ 78,000.00

JEFFERYS, Thomas (1719-1771), et al. The West-India Islands; From Actual Survey and Observations: Eighteen Correct Maps: With Plans of Most of the Distinguished Harbours. London: Robert Laurie and James Whittle, 1796.

Folio (21 x 15 2/8 inches). Letterpress title-page, 12 leaves of letterpress text (first page of text a bit spotted). 18 EXCEPTIONALLY FINE engraved maps with MAGNFICENT CONTEMPORARY HAND-COLOUR, WITH PERFECT OXIDIZATION OF THE GREEN PIGMENT by Jefferys, Robert Wilkinson, one by Faden (Granada), two by John Byres, and one each by D'Anville, James Waring, Robert Baker, Daniel Paterson and Van Keulen, all but two double-page, extra-illustrated with an additional map: "Plan of the Isle of Trinidad from the actual Surveys made in the Year 1797," (London: Laurie and Whittle, 1800), engraved vignette head-piece (some occasional pale spotting and offsetting, a few short splits along folds). Modern half calf antique, marbled boards, by Michael Wilcox.  

Provenance: with the small library label of Wolfgang A. Herz, on the front pastedown, his sale "Important Voyages and Travels", 9th December 2009, lot 289.  

AN EXCEPTIONALLY  FINE AND ATTRACTIVE collection of maps of the islands of the West Indies, prefaced by the 24-page "General View of the West Indies" from Jefferys's "West India Atlas" first published London: Sayer and Bennett, 1775. 16 of the maps were published by Laurie and Whittle; 14 of them are dated 1794, one is dated 1795, and the additional map of Trinidad is dated 1800. Described on the title-page as a "New Edition", first published with this title, but with "Seventeen Correct Maps" by Sayer and Bennett in 1775.    

A New and Complete Map of the West Indies. Comprehending all the Coasts and Islands known by that name. By Mons.r D'Anville; with Several Emendations and Improvements. London: Laurie & Whittle, 12th May, 1794. Double-page and folding.

Jamaica from the Latest Surveys; Improved and Engraved by Thomas Jefferys. London: Laurie & Whittle, 12th May, 1794. With two insets: The Harbour of Bluefields; The Harbours of Kingston and Port Royal. Double-page.

Ruatan or Ratan, surveyed by Lieutenant Henry Barnsley, with improvements by Thomas Jefferys. London: Laurie & Whittle, 12th May, 1794. With two insets of Old Providence and Sta Catalina; New Port-Royal Harbour as Surveyed by Lieutenant Barnsley. Double-page.

The Windward Passage, with the Several Passages, from the East End of Cuba, and the North part of St. Domingo. London: Laurie & Whittle, 12th May, 1794. Double-page and folding.

The Virgin Islands from English and Danish Surveys, by Thomas Jefferys,... corrected and Improved by Captain James Waring. London: Laurie & Whittle, [no date]. With two insets: Plan of Peters Island; Harbour or Road of Tortola. Double-page.

St. Christophers, or St. Kitts, surveyed by Anthony Ravell Esq,... London: Laurie & Whittle, 12th May, 1794. With an inset: Nevis. Double-page.

Antigua, surveyed by Robert Baker, Surveyor General of that Island. Engraved and Improved by Thomas Jefferys. London: Laurie & Whittle, 12th May, 1794. With an inset of English Harbour. Double-page.

Guadeloupe, Done from Actual Surveys and Observations of the English, whilst the Island was in their Possession, with material Improvements added since the Conquest in 1794 to those made by Thomas Jefferys. London: Laurie & Whittle, 1st Jan.y, 1795. Double-page.

Dominica from an Actual Survey Compleated in the Year 1773. London: Laurie & Whittle, 12th May, 1794. Double-page.

Martinico, Done from Actual Surveys and Observations, made by English Engineers whilst the Island was in the Possession by Thomas Jefferys,.. Lately improved by an Officer. London: Laurie & Whittle, 1st Sept.r, 1798. With two insets: Cul de Sac Royal; Gallion Harbour. Double-page.

St. Lucia; Done from Surveys and Observations made by the English whilst in their Possession by Thomas Jefferys. London: Laurie & Whittle, 12th May, 1794. With an inset Plan of the Carenage. Double-page.

Barbadoes, surveyed by William Mayo, Engraved and Improved by Thomas Jefferys. London: Laurie & Whittle, 12th May, 1794. Double-page.

Plan of the Island of St. Vincent laid down by Actual Survey under the Direction of the Honorable the Commissioners for the Sale of Lands in the Ceded Islands by John Byres, Chief Surveyor, 1776. London: Republished by Robert Wilkinson, 14th July 1794. Double-page and folding.

Bequia of Becouya, the Northernmost of the Granadilles, Surveyed in 1763. London: Laurie & Whittle, 12th May, 1794. Full-page

A New Plan of the Island of Grenada from the Original French Survey of Monsieur Pinel; taken in 1763 by Order of the Government, and now Published with the Additions of Property and other Improvements to the Present Year 1796: by Lieut. Daniel Paterson. London: William FAden, August 1st, 1796. Inset of Plan of the Town of St. George and Port Royal. Double-page and folding.

Plan of the Island of Tobago, laid down by Actual Survey under the Direction of the Honourable the Commissioners for the Sale of Lands in the Ceded Islands by John Byres, Chief Surveyor, 1776. London: Robert Wilkinson, 14th July 1794. Double-page and folding.

Turks Islands, from a Survey made in 1753, by the Stoops l'Aigle and l'Emeraude, by order of the French Governor of Hispaniola, with improvements from Observations made in 1770 in the St. Edward Hawke Kings Schooner. London: Laurie & Whittle, 12th May, 1794. Full-page.

Curacao, from The Dutch Originals of Gerard Van Keulen, Regulated by Astronomical Observations. London: Laurie & Whittle, 12th May, 1794. With an inset Plan of Fort Amsterdam. London: Rob.t Sayer, 20 Feb.y, 1775.

Plan of the Isle of Trinidad from the actual Surveys made in the Year 1797. London: Robert Laurie and James Whittle, 1800. Double-page.

Published at the height of England's domination of world trade, particularly of the West Indies Sugar trade. This later and selective edition of Jefferys' The West-India Atlas: or, A Compendious Description of the West-Indies...London: Robert Sayer and John Bennett, 1775, with 18 maps, rather than the original 39 maps, is evidence of William Pitt's determination to create a class of wealth in England that the world had never seen before, only to be dashed a few years later by the Napoleonic Wars.      

First edition thus, preceded by an edition with 17 maps only, and published posthumously, Jefferys first announced "The West-India Atlas" in his advertising for "A Description of the Spanish Islands and Settlements of the Coast of the West Indies", 1772, and intended as a companion for his celebrated "American Atlas", published by Sayer and Bennett in 1775. 

Combining both the elements of an atlas and a pilot, with geographic and hydrographic information, accuracy, depth and breadth of information. The maps include those for the individual islands, including Cuba, of the West Indies.

Thomas Jefferys published some of "the most important eighteenth-century maps of the Americas, a series given cohesion and impetus by the preliminary hostilities and eventual outbreak of the Seven Years' War. Among many individual works of note were Joshua Fry's and Peter Jefferson's 1751 survey of Virginia, engraved and published by Jefferys in 1753, and Joseph Blanchard's and Samuel Langdon's New Hampshire (1761), the first published map of the state. The culmination of this concentration of work was the atlas published in association with Robert Sayer as A General Topography of North America in 1768. Posthumous collections were published by Sayer in 1775 as The American Atlas, The North-American Pilot, including important charts by James Cook, and The West-India Atlas, for which a collection of working drafts survives in the British Library (BL Maps 188.o.2).

"Jefferys's status was underlined by his publication of many of the key geographical texts of the period. His The Conduct of the French, with Regard to Nova Scotia of 1754 lays the ground for British claims, evincing detailed knowledge of the ‘geographical slight of hand’ of recent French maps (p. 52). Jefferys also published the London edition of The Journal of Major George Washington (1755) and, among many substantial works, A Description of the Spanish Islands … of the West Indies (1762), with charts based on captured Spanish originals. The end of hostilities saw a shift of emphasis to more domestic mapping and Jefferys was the engraver of the map of Devon (1765) by Benjamin Donn that gained the first award made by the Society of Arts in its effort to improve technical standards of large-scale county mapping. Jefferys's contribution in this area was considerable, with his own large-scale surveys of six counties.

"Jefferys was appointed geographer to George III in December 1760. His apprentices and assistants included Isaac Taylor, John Ainslie, John Spilsbury, Thomas Donald, and John Lodge. Aside from his own publications he produced many maps for the books and magazines of the period, as well as a wide range of other engraved material, including some early geographical board games. He stocked a large selection of prints and was also a major importer of the best and most recent maps from overseas. As the leading map supplier of his day he was a principal figure in the emergence of London as an international centre of cartographic enterprise" (Laurence Worms for DNB).

Laurie & Whittle was one of the foremost British cartographic firms of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. As the successors to Sayer & Bennett, who published Thomas Jefferys' groundbreaking "American Atlas," Laurie & Whittle became heirs to a legacy of international cartographic excellence and predominance. Philips 3946.