London. . 4 folio sheets, each approximately 24 x 30 inches, and approximately 48 x 60 inches overall. Original hand coloring of borders. Minor wear and a few short closed tears at edges. Light tanning and scattered faint foxing. Very good. Item #WRCAM53108
A remarkable example of this rare, important, and mammoth map of the island of St. Christopher, now known as St. Kitts. This copy is preserved as printed, with the sheets untrimmed and unjoined. This highly detailed and well-executed chart depicts the island divided into its parishes, and contains a wealth of early information relating to houses, churches, forts, sugar mills and individual properties. The borders of each parish are outlined in contemporary hand color, and the shores of the island, with bays, ports, shoals, and soundings are delineated with great accuracy. The map is also noteworthy for the level of its inland detail. Beyond the island's capital, Basseterre Town, located at the lower center of the image, the map plots individual houses and plantations, and prints the names of each owner. The title, scale, and dedication to the Lords Commissioners of the navy are drawn in an attractive Baroque style in the upper left corner. An inset depicting the Leeward Island chain, including Montserrat, Antigua, Guadeloupe, and Martinique, and centrally situating St Christopher, is located in the upper right corner. Along each side is printed a list of subscribers, which includes government officials, agencies, and all of the major early planters of the island. At the time this map was produced, St. Christopher was on the way to becoming one of Great Britain's most important sugar-producing colonies in the Caribbean. By the advent of the American Revolution, the island was the richest territory per capita in the Empire. This rise to prosperity and importance in part explains the lavish size and detail of the map. A significant and quite rare map of a key British colonial possession nearing the height of its prominence. We are able to locate copies of this map at just seven other institutions, only three of which are in North America, the William Clements Library, the John Carter Brown Library, and the Library of Congress. TOOLEY, PRINTED MAPS OF ST. KITTS, ST. LUCIA, & ST. VINCENT, 28.