Copper engraving, rolled (Very Good, overall clean and bright, some light toning along vertical centrefold, very subtle tear lower centre with old repair from verso, some short marginal tears closed by old repairs from verso), 68 x 100 cm (27 x 39.5 inches).
This excellent sea chat depicts Lisbon Harbour and extends westward along the coast past Cascais Bay and to Capa Roca. It gives stellar details of the littoral areas, including the street plan of Lisbon and outlines of villages, castles and fortifications, based upon terrestrial mapping executed by the British Army. The hydrographic information is largely based on surveys undertaken by Master William Chapman of the Royal Navy in 1806, and subsequently updated with new charting executed by other officers in 1827. The chart, in its various editions, was considered to be the most accurate and finely designed chart of Lisbon Harbour for two generations.
The chart is augmented by two profile views, one of which shows Belem Tower the magnificent masterpiece of Manueline architecture built between 1514 and 1519. The chart also features copious navigational notes.
The Anglo-Portuguese Alliance, first forged in 1373, is the world’s oldest political-military alliance still in force. Fuelled by their mutual antipathy towards Spain, England and Portugal supported each other in countless wars over the centuries, while maintaining one of Europe’s most vibrant and mutually beneficial trading relationships.
The base survey upon which the present chart is built was made in 1806, when Lisbon was a key British naval base during the Napoleonic Wars. However, France invaded Portugal in November 1807, evicting the British and Portuguese allied forces from the country. An army under Sir Arthur Wellesley (late the Duke of Wellington) recaptured Lisbon in August 1808. In the post-war period, Lisbon was an important base for both the Royal Navy and British merchants, such that the present chart would have been of immense value.
The first edition of the chart was issued in 1810 in London by William Faden, fulfilling a printing contract for the British Admiralty. A second edition was published by the Hydrographical Office in 1827, with the present third edition following in 1837. Beyond that, an 1851 edition, with updates to 1848, is recorded.
All editions of the chart are rare; we can trace only single institutional example of the 1837 edition, held by the British Library.
References: British Library: Cartographic Items Maps SEC.4.(89.) / OCLC: 557624177.