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Description

Title Page for a Previously Unknown 18th Century English Sea Atlas

One of two surviving examples of Charles Price's unfinished Atlas Maritimus, published in London in 1732.

As noted by Tony Campbell in his description of the British Library's acquisition of a 21 chart collection of maps without title page in the early 1980s, by 1730, Charles Price had announced his intention to publish "a Compleat Sea Atlas"  to remedy 'the Great want of a good sett of Sea Charts now extant in Great Britain (excepting for our own Coasts)."  It was believed that the project was not completed, as Price was believed to have sold off his charts by 1731 and ended 1731 in debtor's prison.  However, the title page of this map shows that the project was in fact completed to the point of selling a collection of maps with the Atlas Maritimus title page, although neither of the two surviving examples included an index page.  

The information noted by Tony Campbell above was drawn from an advertisement on one of the maps.  This is the only note we can locate regarding Price's Sea Atlas, with the exception of an entry written in 1780 by William Gough in his British Topography. Or, An Historical Account of what Has Been Done for Illustrating The Topographical Antiquities of Great Britain and Ireland (1780) at page 112, wherein Gough notes:

Charles Price seems to have engraved a set of English charts, 1726—30. A correct chart of the sea-coast from Arundel in Sussex, to St. Alban's in Dorsetshire. I have two, one dedicated to lord Masham, 1729; another to Thomas Jones, esq; one of the Chanel, and of Scilly islands. He advertised proposals for engraving a compleat sea Atlas for the whole world, dedicated to capt. G. Rogers j to be sold at his shop in Westminster-hall.

The only other surviving example of the atlas is held by the Bancroft Library, which bears the bookplate of William Mountaine, a mathematician and teacher of navigation whose works were published in the 1740s and 1750s by Mount & Page.  The full title, as catalogued by the Bancroft Library, is:

Atlas maritimus, or, A new sea atlas, describing the coasts, ports, harbours, bays, roads, rivers, rocks, sands, buoys, beacons, sea-marks, depth of water, bearings and distances from place to place, the setting and flowing of the tides, currents, trade-winds, monsoons, &c. : with an exact representation of the most principal lands, and directions for the knowing of any place, and how to harbour a ship in the same with safety, in all the known parts of the globe, according to the best observations and latest discoveries of the ablest navigators : the general charts are Mercators, and the particular draughts plain : all the places in their true latitude and longitude.

London : Printed by T. Gover : And sold by J. Atkinson, at Cherry-Garden-Stairs, in Rotherith, J. Eades, at King Edward's-Stairs, Wapping, B. Macy, at the Hermitage-Bridge, J. Clarke, bookseller, at the Exchange, T. Heath, mathematical instrument-maker, next the Fountain-Tavern, in the Strand, M. Penn, bookseller, in Bristol, J. Anzdal, bookseller, in Liverpool, and G. Grierson, bookseller in Dublin, MDCCXXXII [1732]

The individual maps and rarity are as follows:

  1. [English Coast & North Sea]  To Coulson Fellowes Esqr.  of Eggesford in Devonshire this Chart is humbly Dedicated & Presented by his most obliged Servant Cha: Price.   Sold by T. Heath Mathematical Instrument maker next the Fountain Tavern in  ...    (No copies located in OCLC or otherwise)
  2. [Atlantic Coast from British Channel to Straits of Gibraltar]  To Martin Fellowes Esqr.  this Chart is humbly Dedicated and Presented by his Obliged and Obedient Servant Cha: Price 1729.  Sold by T. Heath next the Fountain Tavern in Strand  . . .  (No copies located in OCLC or otherwise)
  3. The Coast of Roussillon Languedoc & Provence By C. Price 1730  (Later state located with Mount & Page imprint -- Biblioteca Nacional de España)
  4. A Correct Chart of the West Indies Humbly Dedicated to Iohn Lant of Putney Esq.  by his Obliged Servtg. C. Price. 1729.  (Unrecorded)
  5. A New Generall Chart of the Coast of Guinea and Brasil From C. Virde to C. de Bonne Esperance And from the River of Amazons to Rio de la Plata &c.  of Ed Wright Projection vul. Mercators Chart.  By C. Price Hydrographer to the King  Sold by C. Price Junior at Strand Bridge in the Strand. J. Atkinson at Chery Garden Stairs, B. Macy at the Hermitage Bridge I Eads at King Edward Stairs and T. Heath next ye Fountain in ye Strand  (No recorded examples. One known example of a 1703 Seller & Price with the same title --National Library of Israel.  1703 Seller & Price English Nepture: or a New Sea Atlas likely includes this map -- 2 known examples).
  6. A Correct Chart of the Western Ocean according to Mercator's Projection Most humbly Dedicated to Sr. Iohn Fredeick Barth of Hampton in Middlesex By his most obliged Servant Chas. Price. 1728. (No known examples)
  7. A Correct Chart of the Coast of Portugal & Barbaria. from C. Finisterra to C. Baydor. With the Canarie Isles.  Humbly Dedicated to Robert Godsall of Weston Esqr.  by his Obliged Servant C. Price .  . .1731 . . . . (National Maritime Museum and Moravian Archives Library (Pennsylvania).  Later Mount & Page edition with modified seller info in cartouche)
  8. A Correct Chart of Catalonia Valenca & Murcia with the Islands Mayorca, Minorca & Yvica. by Charles Price Hydrographer to the King 1730.  Sold by J. Atkinson at Cherry Garden Stairs, J Eads at K Edward Stairs, I Clark at the Royal Exchange, T. Heath next ye Fountain in ye Strand, and Mrs. Pen Bookseller in Bristol.  (National Maritime Museum,   Later state located with Mount & Page imprint -- Biblioteca Nacional de España).
  9. A Correct Chart of the Coasts of Spain From Cartagene to Denia, Also of Barbarie from C. Falcon to C. Te Delle, According to the Curious Servey of Messrs. Michelot & Bremont, Pilots to the Royal Gallys of France.  Humbly Dedicated to Sr. Gilbert Heathcote Knight & Senior Alderman of London.  By his Obliged Servant C. Price.  1732. (No copies located.   Later state located with Mount & Page imprint -- Biblioteca Nacional de España).
  10. [Gibraltar with 2 Views]   To John Barnard Esqr.  Alderman of London and one of its Representatives in Parliament this Chart is Humbly Dedicated & Presented by Cha: Price.  (Bibliotheque National de France)
  11. The Harbour of Harwich Humbly Dedicated & Presented to  _____  by C. Price.  (No known examples)
  12. A Correct Chart of Yarmouth Roads, ___________  (No known examples)
  13. A correct Chart of the River Humber from the Spurn to Hull Humbly Dedicated & Presented to  _____ by C. Price.  London Sold by Mr. Heath next ye Fountain in ye Strand, Mr. Clark at ye Royal Exchange, Mr. Atkinson at Cherry Garden Stairs, Mrs. Penn in Vine Street, Bristol  (British Library)
  14. Sunderland, River Tyne, Blyth, and Cocket Isle, by C. Price Hydrographer to the King 1730.  Sold by J. Atkinson, Teacher of Mathematics at Chery Garden Stairs, I Eads Compass maker a King Edward Stairs, I. Rossey near the Hermitage Stairs, T. Heath Mathematical Instrument-maker next the Fountain Tavern in the Strand.  (British Library, Bibliotheque National de France)
  15.  To the Rt. Honourable Humfrey Parsons Esqr. Lord Mayor of London and one of Her Representatives in Parlaiment  The Chart of the Downs is Humbly Dedicated and Presented by his most Obedient Servant C. Price Hydrographer to the King 1730.  Sold by J. Atkinson, Teacher of Mathematics at Chery Garden Stairs, I Eades Compass maker a King Edward Stairs, I. Rossey near the Hermitage Stairs, I Clark Bookseller at the Royal Exchange. T. Heath Mathematical Instrument-maker next the Fountain Tavern in the Strand. (No known examples)
  16. A Correct Chart of Scilly Islands Humbly Dedicated & Presented by Cha. Price. 1730.  Sold by Mr. Heath Mathematical Instrument-maker next the Fountain Tavern in the Strand. Mr. Clark at the Royal Exchange. Mr.  Atkinson at Chery Garden Stairs and Mrs. Penn in Vine Street in Bristol.   (No copies located.   Later state located with Mount & Page imprint -- British Library)
  17. A Correct Chart of the Harbours of Chester and Liverpool Humbly Dedicated & Presented to Joseph Taylor Esq.  Member of ye Honourable House of Compns by his most Obllg'd Servt. C. Price. 1730.  Sold at London by Mr. Heath Mathematical Instrument-maker next the Fountain Tavern in the Strand. Mr. Clark at the Royal Exchange. Mr.  Atkinson at Chery Garden Stairs.  Mrs. Penn in Vine Street in Bristol.  (British Library, National Maritime Museum)
  18. [English Channel]  To the Rt. Honourable Samuel Ld. Masham Barron of Oates in Essex this Chart is humbly Dedicated by his Lordship's most Obliged & Obedient Servant C. Price. 1729.  (No copies located)
  19. A Correct Map of the County of Sussex Humbly Dedicated to _____ by Cha: Price 1730.  London Sold by Mrs. Chilcot in Westminster Hall.  Mr. Heath Mathematical Instrument-maker next the Fountain Tavern in the Strand. Mr. Clark Bookseller at the Royal Exchange.  Mrs. Penn Bookseller in Bristol.  ( Bibliotheque National de France, Cambridge University) 
  20. A Correct Chart, of the Sea Coast from Arundel in Sussex to St. Albans in Dorset.  (National Maritime Museum, See Richard Gough entry at the top of the description). 
  21. [Southern Coast of Ireland, St. George's Channel and Part of Cornwall]  To Capt. George Rogers of Hammersmith this Chart is humbly Dedicated and Presented by Cha. Price 1729.  Sold by T. Heath next the Fountain Tavern in the Strand. (No copies located).
  22. A Correct Chart of St. Georges Channel, humbly dedicated & Presented to Sr. Thomas Jones Kt. by his Obliged Servt. Cha: Price. Sold by T. Heath next the Fountain Tavern in the Strand.  J.Clark Bookseller at the Royal Exchange and  J Atkinson at Chery Garden Stairs. (No copies located).
  23. Bristol Channel from the Holmes to King Road, including ye River Avon  Dedicated and Presented to Mr. Samuel Workman Teacher of ye Mathematics at Bristol by Ch. Price.  London Sold by Mr. Heath next the Fountain Tavern in the Strand.  Mr. Clark at the Royal Exchange and  J Atkinson at Chery Garden Stairs .Mrs. Penn in Vine Street Bristol.  (British Library,
  24. A Correct Chart of the City and Harbour of Dublin Humbly Dedicated to ______ by Cha. Price. 1730.  Sold by Mr. Heath next the Fountain Tavern in the Strand.  Mr. Clark at the Royal Exchange and  Mr. Atkinson at Cherry Garden Stairs .  Mrs. Penn in Vine Street Bristol.  (National Maritime Museum, British Library)
  25. [Bay of Old Head -- Part of Cork County]  To Thomas Winnington Esq. of Stamtford Court, Recorder of Worcester & Member of the Honourable House of Commons.  This Chart is Humbly Dedicated by his Obliged Servt. C. Price. (Bibliotheque National de France.  Later state located with Mount & Page imprint -- Biblioteca Nacional de España)

Rarity

The Atlas is known in 1 institutional example, held by the Bancroft Library ,The Bancroft example bears the bookplate of William Mountaine, F.R.S. (1700-1779).  Mountaine was a teacher of mathematics and navigation, who among other important publications revised James Atkinson's  Epitome of the Art of Navigation (Atkinson name appears on a number of the charts in the atlas) A number of his works were published by Mount & Page.  The Bancroft example was given to the Burnt-Yates School in 1775 and thereafter acquired by UC Berkeley in 1898 from a bookseller in Leeds who acquired the Burnt-Yates Library.

The Bancroft copy would appear to be later example of the atlas, including 30 charts, only 1 of which is in old color.  The Bancroft example includes later states of 2 of the maps and earlier state of 1 of the maps and lacks one of the maps in this example.  Of the 6 maps in the Bancroft example which are not in this example, all would appear to later engravings, done between 1730 and 1732.  The impressions on the Bancroft copy are much weaker, suggesting that they were engraved quite awhile after this example.

Charles Price Biography

Charles Price (1679?-1733) was an engraver, instrument maker, and mapseller.

Price had been apprenticed to John Seller, famous mapmaker and father to Charles’ business partner, Jeremiah. In fact, Jeremiah and Charles were made free of the Merchant Taylors Guild on the same day, September 1, 1703. The two were already working together by then.

After breaking off with Seller, Price worked with John Senex (1705-10) and George Wildey (1710-13). He was still working in the 1720s, but was in Fleet Prison in 1731 for debt and died two years later.

He is known to have published in 1732  his Atlas Maritimus or, a new Sea Atlas . . .  This work contains maps dated 1728 and 1731.  We locate at single example (Bancroft Library - 30 maps) and we acquired an example in 2018 (25 maps).  It is quite likely that the work was an unfinished composite, as a number of the maps have blank spaces in the titles, in anticipation of dedicatees that were apparently never obtained.  The atlas was known to have been started, but not completed, as noted by Tony Campbell in the British Library Journal, recording the acquisition by the British Library of an untitled collection of charts by Price:

Price, Charles. [A set of English charts of the coasts of the British Isles and Europe, together with Hispaniola, engraved by Charles Price.] London: Charles Price , IV.1730].

Twenty-one charts, 50 cm.

An unrecorded collection without title-page, with a note on one chart announcing the author's intention of publishing 'a Compleat Sea Atlas', to remedy 'the Great want of a good sett of Sea Charts now extant in Great Britain (excepting for our own Coasts)'. The project proceeded no further.

By 1731 Price had to sell off his charts cheaply, and he ended the year in the Fleet Prison. Many of the charts are based on those of Greenville Collins and most are dated 1729 or 1730.

The named collaborators were teachers of mathematics, or, like Price, mathematical instrument makers.

Maps C.8.b.i