Single sheet (36 ⅝ x 24 ¾ inches, full margins with platemark). Fine engraving of the Straits of Malacca in Indonesia with compass rose.
This highly detailed chart of the Straits of Malacca includes depth soundings, profiles of mountains for determining bearings, and a key. A series of charts of Indonesia published by Laurie & Whittle at the end of the 18th century were instrumental in the foundation of Singapore as a British trading hub by Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles in 1818. The charts drew on the observations of explorers such as Captains James Cook and William Dampier and many other British explorers and naval captains. The Straits of Malacca and Singapore were crucial passages that enabled the Dutch East India company to secure their vast territory on the Pacific since the 17th century, when they wrested control from the Portuguese by instigating a revolt against their ally, the Aceh Sultanate, in 1650 (Suarez, 207).
“Singapore’s location, as well as the stability insured by the presence of the British Military, proved attractive, and British banking, shipping, and insurance firms from India and Sri Lanka opened branches there. The island’s excellent harbor, free trade, and security brought thousands of new settlers, particularly Chinese, making Britain’s position there even stronger,” (Suarez, 244).
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 Jeffrey's groundbreaking "American Atlas," Laurie & Whittle became heirs to a legacy of international cartographic excellence and predominance.
For more information about this map, or a warm welcome to see it and other books in our library at 72nd Street, NYC, please contact Tara Mishkovsky, M.A. in the Rare Book Department. Bookseller Inventory # 72TM022