RARE 19TH CENTURY MAP OF THE MALACCA STRAIT
“Malacca Strait – Butang Group to Pulo Berhala”, engraving by Davies & Company published in London by the British Admiralty on 23 May 1896 under the superintendence of Rear Admiral Sir W.J.L. Wharton. Size: 114 x 77 cm.
In 1795 King George III created the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office to provide top notch nautical charts to the vast Royal Navy. Prior to the founding of the Admiralty the surveying and creation of nautical charts was primarily a commercial venture in which the cartographer himself, more often than not, actually financed the printing of his own material. The great navigator James Cook himself is known to have scrambled for funds to publish his own seminal charts – the most important and advanced of the period. The system of privately funded nautical mapping and publishing left vast portions of the world uncharted and many excellent charts unpublished. King George III, responding to significant loss in trade revenue related to shipwrecks and delay due to poor charts, recognised the need for an institutionalised government sponsored cartographic agency – the Admiralty.
The United Kingdom Hydrographic Office is still in operation today.
On this rare and large 19th century nautical chart or maritime map we see the Malacca Strait with Langkawi, the “Jewel of Kedah” the archipelago of islands some 30 km off the coast of what we now call northwestern Malaysia. (In those days still the sultanate of Kedah.)
Further south, off the coast of Perak, there is Penang Island, an important centre of spice production within Southeast Asia. George Town on Penang was capital of the Straits Settlements from 1826-1832 and an important British entrepôt. By the end of the 19th century the city had evolved into a leading financial centre in Malaya.
For a adjacent chart of the Malacca Strait to the south, please check here.
Price: Euro 750,-