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Rare Sea Chart of the Island of St. Barts

Rare chart of the island of St. Barts, one of only 3 printed maps to focus on St. Barts prior to modern times.

The map is divided into Quartiers and then further sub-divided. Bays are noted, pathways and the capital town of "Gustavia" is now named with a layout of the streets. Offshore, there are small islands, soundings and other details. Includes a explanation regarding the City of Gustavia in the inset circle at the left side, along with a key identifying the number of landowners and the amount of land owned by the King (in Arpents).

Fahlberg's map was published in Stockholm at a time when St. Barts was a Swedish possession. His was one of only a few early maps to focus on it, and this chart is the largest map of the island from the time period. It shows the topography of its nine square miles, including property divisions and a chart listing the number of houses and inhabitants.

Fahlberg was the physician of the Swedish government for the island and, in addition to his medical duties, he was also an urban planner. He laid out the streets for the main town of Gustavia (named for King Gustav III of Sweden), where the Rue Samuel Fahlberg is still an important thoroughfare.

Discovered by Columbus in 1493 and named in honor of his brother Bartolomeo, St. Barts was first settled by French colonists. Except for a brief military takeover by the British in 1758, St. Barts remained French until 1784, when it was summarily sold to Sweden by one of Louis XVI's ministers in exchange for trading rights in the Swedish port of Gothenburg. France repurchased it in 1878.

The map itself is extremely rare. This is the second example we have offered in over 20 years.