1868 North Atlantic Nautical Chart by: James Imray and Son
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By: James Imray and Son
Date: 1868 (dated) London
Dimensions: 10 x 51.75 inches (104 x 131.5 cm)
A striking example of a 19th century nautical map of the North Atlantic, done in the iconic style by James Imray and Son known as the "Blue Back." This sea chart is laid on the Mercator projection and covers an area from 92° west to 15° east and 5° south to 61° north, which includes the northeast coast of South America, much of North America east of the Mississippi, West Africa and western Europe.
These blueback nautical maps were working documents that often spent many months and/or years at sea and some examples, this being one of them, include the tracks of the vessels that held them. The tracks found in this sea chart tend to run north and south from the British Isles along the West African coast and some are numbered by days at sea. There is one track that runs from the Madeira Islands (just west of present-day Morocco) to the eastern Seaboard of the United States, near Maryland and Chesapeake Bay.
Close investigation reveals wonderful details and notations on currents, wind directions, and other natural phenomena, all of which can be found throughout the map. Some of these notations include “discolored water,” “stormy region of the gulf stream,” “North African or Guinea Current,” and “numerous icebergs during May and June.” Additionally, the map includes four inset maps of the Bermuda Islands, Funchal Bay (on the island of Madeira), Fayal Channel, Horta and Pim Bay (Azores Islands, an autonomous region of Portugal).
Condition: This nautical map is in B+ condition with no major tears or holes, and some light staining along the lower portions of the chart. There are no major creases to lessen the eye-appeal of the map and it would frame wonderfully.
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