The Golden Age of Piracy! -- Earliest Obtainable English Language Sea Chart of Jamaica, Bahamas and parts of Cuba and Hispaniola.
Faacinating regional chart of Western Caribbean, focusing on the primary theater of Piracy in the Caribbean, first published by John Seller in London in 1670.
The present chart is the earliest chart of this region engraved and printed in England. Issued in some (but not all) examples of the Atlas Maritimus, it is the most regionally focused sea chart to appear in Seller's atlas. Curiously, the map is bounded be several of the more important lairs of English Piracy, including Tortuga, the primary base for Sir Henry Morgan (Morgan the Pirate, later Pirate hunter), New Providence (which had first been regularly inhabited a decade earlier and was then one of the primary hubs of English Piracy, pre-dating the sacking and burning of Nassau by the Spanish in 1684) and the primary English naval base at Port Royal, Jamaica.
Oriented with east at the top, the chart shows the following islands, many of which appear for the first time on an English sea chart.
- Providence (Nassau, New Providence Island)
- Isle Atheria (Eleuthra)
- Xuma (Exuma)
- Long Island
- Crooked Islands (Crooked Island and Long Cay)
- Sancte Speritas (Great Guana Cay?)
- I. Nagua (Inagua Islandsd)
- Formigos (Formiga Reef)
The present example is the second state of the map, bearing the names of John Seller, John Colson, William Fisher, James Atkinson and John Thornton. The first state of the map names Seller only. The map first appeared in John Seller's sea atlas:
Atlas maritimus, or A book of charts
Describeing the sea coasts capes headlands sands shoals rocks and dangers the bayes roads harbors rivers and ports, in most of the knowne parts of the world. With the true courses and distances, from one place to another: Gathered from the latest and best discoveryes, that have bin made by divers able and experienced navigators of our English nation: Accomodated with an hydrographicall description of the whole world
The map is very rare. We note only a copy offered by Martayan Lan in the late 1980s.