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Description

Rare separately-issued profile view / sea chart of St. Helena, published by Johannes Van Keulen in Amsterdam, circa 1735.

This fine sea chart provides a remarkably detailed topographical perspective view of the northern side of the island, from Zuykerbroods punt (Sugar Loaf Point) to Paarde-wyde-hoeck (Southwest Point). The view is centered on Munden's Fort, the site of Jamestown, while a numbered key identifies the numerous fortifications and and batteries, while the sea includes extensive soundings and other notes.

St. Helena is a small island in the South Atlantic lying strategically along the main shipping route from Europe to the Cape of Good Hope, and as such for over 500 years it has acted as a refuge for mariners. While discovered by the Portuguese in 1502 and claimed by the Dutch in 1633, the English were the first to settle the island in 1659. St. Helena was considered to be the property of the English East India Company, and by the time this chart was made it had 1,100 residents (1723 census). The island was the most important revictualling point for British traders en route to India and East Asia, such that detailed sea charts like the present maps depicting the appraoches to Jamestown, the island's only harbor, would have been of considerably value during their time. Later on, St. Helena was of course famous as Napoleon Bonaparte's place of exile from 1815 to 1821.

The chart is exceedingly rare, as is the case with most separately-issued sea charts from this period. We find mention of it listed as a separately issued map in G.D. Bon's Bijdragen Tot Eeene Geschiedenis Van Het Geslacht "Van Keulen" (Amsterdam, 1885), at page 18, within the Section entitled 'Atlassen en Kaarten . . . 1678-1757'.

Condition Description
Minor soiling.