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Scarce Spanish sea chart of the Coastlines of Africa, Arabia and Northwestern India, published by the Spanish Hydrographical Office in 1861.

In addition to coastal details and soundings, the map locates a number of lighthouses and other navigational aids.

Qatar is called El Biddah.  Dubai (Debai) is named, as is Abothubbee (Abu Dhabi).  The entirety of the peninsula is called Ras-el-Jibbul.

On the west coast of Africa, the Ivory Coast, Gold Coast, Slave Coast, and the Kingdoms of Loango, Angola, and Benguela are noted.


The map is quite rare on the market. This is the first example we have ever seen.


Direccion Hidrografica de Madrid Biography

The Dirección de Hidrografía, or the Directorate of Hydrographic Works, was established in 1797. Its roots were in the Casa de Contratación, founded in 1503 in Sevilla, which housed all the charts of the Spanish Empire and oversaw the creation and maintenance of the padrón real, the official master chart. The Casa, now in Cadiz, was shuttered in 1790, but Spain still needed a hydrographic body. In response, the Dirección was created in 1797. One of its first projects was the publication of charts from the Malaspina Expedition (1789-1794). The Dirección oversaw not only publication, but also surveying. The Dirección was abolished in the early twentieth century, when their work was distributed to other organizations.