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Description

Rare English Sea Chart of the Coastline between the southern part of the Malay Peninsula, Sumatra and Borneo, including Singapore and environs, from Laurie & Whittle's rare East India Pilot.

This rare chart shows the Southern Malay Peninsula, including the island of Singapore, the Straits of Malacca, and adjacent parts of Sumatra and Borneo. Laurie & Whittle's chart represents a dramatic leap forward from contemporary maps, such as Mannevillette's treatment of the region in his Oriental Neptune, reflecting the increasing importance of the Straits of Malacca in contemporary trade routes. At the sides of the chart, 11 profile/recognition views are shown, incluing Bintang, Poolo Aore, Linging Island (Lingga), Sowra Island, and Barbe Island, among others.

The tracks of seveal voyages through the region are noted, including the Mascarin (1773), the Onslow, the L'Etoile (1775), the Vansittart (1781), and the Chameau and Elephant (1759).

A note under the Straits of Linging (Lingga) reads 'Very Little Known' and Dogger Banks are 'said to be Dangerous'. In addition to the map proper, this beautiful chart features eleven land profiles, including views of Bintang, Poolo Aore, Linging Island (Lingga), Sowra Island, and Barbe Island, among others.

This chart was especially important, for it was the map of record used by British mariners and the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars. From 1811 to 1815, the British captured Malaya and much of Indonesia from the Dutch East India Company (the VOC). This chart would have been very useful to the British as they sought control of the Malacca Straits, the strategic keystone of the entire region. While the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824 returned Indonesia to the Dutch, the British gained possession of Malaya and Singapore.

The chart is quite rare on the market, with no examples appearing in AMPR in the past 30 years.

Condition Description
Minor discoloration west of the Serantan Islands.
Laurie & Whittle Biography

Laurie & Whittle refers to the partnership of Robert Laurie (1755?-1836) and James Whittle (1757-1818), engravers and map publishers. Both men were employed by Robert Sayer (ca. 1724-1794), one of the most prominent British publishers and map sellers of the eighteenth century. Sayer died in 1794 and his business was taken over by his assistants. The two worked together as Laurie & Whittle until 1812, when Laurie retired. They were especially known for publishing sea charts and maritime atlases. From 1812-1818, when he died, Whittle worked with Laurie’s son, Richard Holmes Laurie, as Whittle & Laurie. After 1818, the firm was known as R. H. Laurie, even though Richard died in 1858. Later, the firm was managed by Laurie’s draughtsman, Alexander George Findlay, and, later, Daniel and William Kettle.