By: James Imray
Date: 1860 (Published) London
Dimensions: 38 x 71.75 inches (96.5 182. cm)
This fascinating sea chart, an original ‘blue back’ by James Imray, was one of the foremost navigational charts in use by navigators of the Pacific in the middle of the 19th century. The chart covers an area from the Philippines and Australia in the west to the western coastline of South America.
The chart high details the region to the extent possible at the time it was published. The remarkable detail of all coastal areas would have been invaluable to navigators. It includes serious warnings and cautionary notes regarding areas where information based on ‘uncertain authorities’ makes it necessary to exercise extreme caution. In other places Imray warns that there are many dangers due to the lack of knowledge of the place. With its enormous amount of detail, the chart would have spoken clearly to any navigator using it, enabling ships and crews to sail with a great degree of confidence.
Two interesting details concern routes featured crossing the Pacific and labeled by Imray as being significantly shorter than voyages plotted according to Mercator. In addition to these citations, the map includes information provided by well-known voyages throughout the entire expanse of the South Pacific.
The vast majority of the British merchant fleet, such as wool clippers, gold rush ships, and copper and nitrate clippers used Imray’s charts despite the availability of Admiralty maps. Although Imray’s maps were more expensive than Admiralty charts, fewer of them were needed because for many voyages the charts provided all the information necessary to navigate a course.
This exotic map has obviously been at sea, and the condition issues enumerated below provide a genuine appeal to the map, making it suggestive of the day when clippers sailed the high seas and navigators navigated courses with compasses, sextants and sea charts.
Condition: This map is in B- condition. Professionally repaired and laid down on canvas. Washed and de-acidified. Lower left corner gone, left margin replaced. Water and mildew stains lower right and bottom center.
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