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Great Seafaring Islands

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  • Printed Maps of St Kitts, St Lucia and St Vincent – R.V. Tooley

    Printed Maps of St Kitts, St Lucia and St Vincent – R.V. Tooley

    The Map Collectors’ Circle publication published Nos 81 by the great R.V. Tooley in 1972. Very good condition. Australian cartographic expert and publish author T.M. Perry’s copy with his stamp.

    In the ubiquitous flesh coloured card covers, design to front. 19 pages of detailed catalogue plus 25 plates of maps.

    All three of these islands were “discovered” by Colombus in 1493, 1502 and 1498 respective to the title.

    St Kitts also went by the name St Christopher. Variously they were controlled by the British [ St Kitts Britain’s oldest colony 1623]. Control exchanged hands between the British, French and Spanish are various times settling as British Colonies in the early 19thC.

    Because of all of this “carry-on” there are some striking early maps of the islands and the broader West Indies – the key examples are here.

    More than hot pepper sauce the beautiful trilogy in the Caribbean.


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  • The Island of Elba – Petrus Bertius -1603

    An original copper engraved miniature map. One of the most striking and coveted island maps from the early 17th Century. Engraved by Pieter van den Keere for the great geographer Petrus Bertius and published by Cornelis Claesz in Amsterdam in 1603 for the “Tabularum Geographicarum Contractarum Libri”

    Elba the island upon which Napoleon was first incarcerated and later escaped to fight again.

    Lovely details of the main centres and fortifications; mountains and rivers carefully placed. Sea monsters can be seen .. all finished with an elaborate face embellished cartouche

    Framed in gilt within gilt fillet as shown.

    Charming sought after 400 years old


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  • A View of the Island of St Helena – Allain Mallet -1683

    A View of the Island of St Helena – Allain Mallet -1683

    An original copper engraved view of the island of St Helena in the Southern Atlantic by Mallet published in Paris in 1683 as part of his great work on the Universe.

    Allain Manesson Mallet (1630-1706) was a French cartographer and engineer. He started his career as a soldier in the army of Louis XIV and became a Sergeant Major and an Inspector of Fortifications. He at one time acted as a mercenary for the Portuguese. His work contains unique imagery. The map of St Helena supports that view in that he portrays the island in perspective as if viewed from the ocean. The rugged landscape emphasised and the Governors House not far from the solitary landing place. The cannon firing fully rigged ships emphasise a time of turmoil and hostility. Not long earlier in 1673 the Dutch had taken the island before British re-enforcements restored control.

    It is thought that St Helena was discovered by the Portuguese circa 1503 but they never exploited the island. Sir Francis Drake likely called in during his circumnavigation in 1580. It was the Dutch who formally first made claim on the island in 1633 but they soon abandoned it in favour of the Cape of Good Hope. Oliver Cromwell granted the English East India Company the right to govern St Helena in 1658. In 1815 the island was selected to be the second place of detention of Napoleon Bonaparte [having previously escaped from Elba]. Napoleon died there in 1821. Britain applied Crown rule of the island from 1834.

    Price $90.00 unframed. $190 framed … includes postage subsidy.

    Cannon’s blazing off St Helena – Mallet


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  • Special Maritime Book: On the Wind of a Dream (The Saga of the Solace) – Commander Victor Clark – First Edition 1960

    Special Maritime Book: On the Wind of a Dream (The Saga of the Solace) – Commander Victor Clark – First Edition 1960

    A first edition of this sought after and outstanding voyage account.

    Commander Victor Clark found himself released from the Admiralty in London and decided to satisfy his adventurous spirit with a round the world voyage, which was to take six years.

    The Solace was purchased, and his adventure began sailing south and west to take the route through the Panama Canal. Galapagos, Marquesas, Tuamotu, Society and Cook Islands. Then to Palmerston Island … a whole story must be written about this strange place … a form of English being the language of the day and many of the people descend from their Birmingham England forefather. Unfortunately, Solace was wrecked here which meant Clark had to undertake a full year stop over, but because of which we learn something special about Palmerston Island .

    Published by Hutchinson in 1960 a first edition. Octavo, 308 pages, illustrations from photographs taken on the voyage, end paper maps a bit more informative than most. With the rare, un-clipped dust jacket albeit taped at some time along the top and bottom of spine.

    This book commands significant prices around the world … apart from being hard to come by we feel the observations and writing, the events and adventures, the detail on the unusual Palmerston Island and its society make it special and therefore desired by those in the know.

    Victor Clark RN in the Solace and what an adventure


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  • Madagascar – I.S. Lauretij  Published by Cornelis Claesz, Petrus Bertius, Barent Langenes,  – engraved by Benjamin Wright – c1600

    Madagascar – I.S. Lauretij Published by Cornelis Claesz, Petrus Bertius, Barent Langenes, – engraved by Benjamin Wright – c1600

    A very rare and early state of this classic miniature map of the island of Madagascar. Plates engraved by Benjamin Wright are scarce and it is particularly interesting to see his engraved signature to the bottom left, inside the map area. Printed map area 12.5cm by 8.8cm, strong black image, very good condition, some mild age marks in the margin, printed area clean. Latin text on reverse. Uncoloured as it should be. Text in Latin on reverse.

    Madagascar here called I. S Laurentij .. Island of Saint Lawrence, and early European naming. The orientation of the map is with East to the top. Very finely engraved with super topographical detail and. The numerous offshore islands and reefs clearly displayed.

    Wright originally worked in London and then found employment on the continent. While in Amsterdam he worked for Cornelis Claesz on new plates for Caert-thresoor effectively a joint venture with Middleburg printer Barent Langenes; Java, Madagascar (this one), St Helena and Sumatra. The first printing was in 1598. The text was edited by Petrus Bertius and Jacobus Viverius.

    Accepted authority on Miniature Antique Maps, Geoffrey King writes about this history. His text on the subject cross refers several pages and in its entirety is confusing and possibly contradictory. Our conclusion is to reference this important map as Wright/ Claesz/ Langenes/ Bertius c1600.

    Price $160.00 unframed

    Early map of Madagascar – Benjamin Wright signature in plate.


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  • Miniature Antique Maps – Geoffrey King – Second revised edition 2003

    Miniature Antique Maps – Geoffrey King – Second revised edition 2003

    The definitive reference on miniature antique maps and a special instruction on the development of the decorative map over the centuries.

    A second revised and final edition of Geoffrey Kings work. Published by Tooley Adams & Co, Oxfordshire. Octavo, 223 pages with hundreds of illustrations.

    Starts with a useful forward by London miniature map specialist, Graham Franks, acknowledgments, introduction and bibliography before the detailed chronological guide, attendant notes, and index of names.

    A unique work to the field and a must have for a collector. Unfortunately, copies are hard to come by, particularly this revised edition.

    King – the definitive reference on miniature antique maps.


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