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Description

Six maps of China, published between 1860 and 1863, immediately after the concluion of the Second Opium War.

Sketch to illustrate the movements of the allied forces in China, from the land of Pehtang on the 1st August to the capture of the Taku Forts

The map tracks the action of the English, French and Chinese Troops in August 1860 during the Third Battle at Taku Forts, with a key identifying the commanding officers of 10 different batteries.

The Third Battle of Taku Forts began on August 1, 1860. Lord Elgin commanded a joint an Anglo-French force of 11,000 British and 6,700 French troops. Aboard 173 ships from Hong Kong, the force captured Yantai and Dalian, then  landing near Beitang ("Pehtang") near the Taku Forts, which were thereafter captured by August 21, 1860.

Rarity: OCLC locates 2 copies (British Library, National Library of Scotland, 

Sketch of the Operations of Allied Armies in China between the 1st and 21st of August 1860 By Captain Algood

Oriented with south at the top, the map tracks troop movements in red, again during the Battle of Taku Forts.

Rarity:  OCLC locates 1 copy (British Library)

Pei-Ho or Peking River (In 4 Sheets, with Plan of Peking)

Finely executed set of 4 maps, tracking the course of the the Pei-Ho River (Hai River) from Beijing to Tianjin and the Bohai Sea.

The map provides an exceptionally detailed look at the largely uncharted region, providing both soundings in the river and remarkably detailed look at the lowlands, docks roads, buildings, towns, forts and other details along the River.  The fourth sheet notes a place where the "English Army obtained ample supplies of Beef, Mutton and Vegetables when encamped . . ." and a second note regarding the remnants of the wall of Tung-Chow.

Sheet 3 includes a detailed set of remarks.  Sheet 4 includes a plan of Peking and a cross section illustrating the City Walls and Anting Gate.

Rarity:  OCLC locates 1 copy of Sheet 2 (Universtat-Marburg), 1 copy of Sheet 3 (British Library) and 1 copy of Sheet 4 (British Library)

Full Map Titles:

Sketch to illustrate the movements of the allied forces in China, from the land of Pehtang on the 1st August to the capture of the Taku Forts [Dagu Forts] on the 21st August 1860 by Captain L Brabazon, lithographed at the Topographical Depot, War Office  (24 x 21 inches)

Sketch of the Operations of Allied Armies in China between the 1st and 21st of August 1860 By Captain Algood.  lithographed at the Topl Depot, War Office .  Col. Sir H. James. R.E. F.R.S. &c. Director.  (10.5 x 13.3 inches)

Pei-Ho or Peking River Sheet 1  From Entrance To Ko-Ku from a survey by Mr. A.E. Ploix Engenieur Hydrographe of the French Imperial Marine 1858 (38 x 25 inches)

Pei-Ho or Peking River Sheet 2  From Ko-Ku to Tien-Tsin  from a survey by Mr. A.E. Ploix Engenieur Hydrographe of the French Imperial Marine 1858 (40 x 27 inches) 

Pei-Ho or Peking River Sheet 3  From Tien-Tsin to Tung-Chow  Surveyed Byu Lt. Col. Wolseley, R.E. Dep: Asst. Qr. Mastr. General Assisted by Lieut. R. Harrison R.E.  1860. (38.5 x 25 inchees)

Pei-Ho or Peking River Sheet 4  From Tung-Chow To Peking Surveyed Byu Lt. Col. Wolseley, R.E. Dep: Asst. Qr. Mastr. General Assisted by Lieut. R. Harrison R.E.  1860. (38.5 x 25 inches)

Provenance

The maps are housed in a red morocco slip case, with the title "Taku to Pekin" and the name General Thiebauld in gold leaf.  This would appear to be the same General Thiebauld who would go on to oversee the restructuring of the Belgian Army in 1873 and served at the Belgian Minister of Defense.

Condition Description
Six maps dissected and laid on linen, in a large red morocco slipcase, bearing the name xxx.
British Admiralty Biography

The British Admiralty has produced nautical charts since 1795 under the auspices of the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (HO). Its main task was to provide the Royal Navy with navigational products and service, but since 1821 it has also sold charts to the public.

In 1795, King George III appointed Alexander Dalrymple, a pedantic geographer, to consolidate, catalogue, and improve the Royal Navy’s charts. He produced the first chart as the Hydrographer to the Admiralty in 1802. Dalrymple, known for his sticky personality, served until his death in 1808, when he was succeeded by Captain Thomas Hurd. The HO has been run by naval officers ever since.

Hurd professionalized the office and increased its efficiency. He was succeeded by the Arctic explorer Captain William Parry in 1823. By 1825, the HO was offering over seven hundred charts and views for sale. Under Parry, the HO also began to participate in exploratory expeditions. The first was a joint French-Spanish-British trip to the South Atlantic, a voyage organized in part by the Royal Society of London.

In 1829, Rear-Admiral Sir Francis Beaufort was appointed Hydrographer Royal. Under his management, the HO introduced the wind force scale named for him, as well as began issuing official tide tables (1833). It was under Beaufort that HMS Beagle completed several surveying missions, including its most famous voyage commanded by Captain FitzRoy with Charles Darwin onboard. When Beaufort retired in 1855, the HO had nearly two thousand charts in its catalog.

Later in the nineteenth century, the HO supported the Challenger expedition, which is credited with helping to found the discipline of oceanography. The HO participated in the International Meridian Conference which decided on the Greenwich Meridian as the Prime Meridian. Regulation and standardization of oceanic and navigational measures continued into the twentieth century, with the HO participating at the first International Hydrographic Organization meeting in 1921.

During World War II, the HO chart making facility moved to Taunton, the first purpose-built building it ever inhabited. In 1953, the first purpose-built survey ship went to sea, the HMS Vidal. Today, there is an entire class of survey vessels that make up the Royal Navy’s Hydrographic Squadron. The HO began to computerize their charts in the late 1960s and early 1970s. In 1968, the compilation staff also came to Taunton, and the HO continues to work from there today.