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Rare English Chart of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands

Nice example of this rare separately issued sea chart of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, one of the few 19th Century separately published charts to focus on these islands.

The chart features five profiles of the region's mountainous coastlines, while six insets provide hydrographic detail for San Juan, St. Thomas, Road Harbour, Guanica, Mayaguez and Christiansted. There is also a sobering "Precautionary Notice respecting the positions of the Virgin Islands," which states:

The various conflicting statements of the positions of these islands, render it necessary for us to caution the mariner against placing too great a reliance on them as here assigned; we have consulted numerous authorities, and as we do not presume our positions to be precise, we earnestly solicit any remarks that may confirm or correct them.

Hobb's chart is extremely rare. Originally published by Charles Wilson, as successor to Norie & Wilson in 1846, we located only an edition of 1857 in the digital collection of the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee and an 1862 example which we sold in 2009. York University of Canada also holds a photograph of the original 1846 edition. Beginning with the 1857 edition, Hobbs dropped the pre-cautionary note.

This edition pre-dates the surveys and soundings in and around the Virgin Islands which appear in later editions of the map. These revisions are also easily observed in the revisions to the Road Harbour, Virgin Islands inset. See for example our 1862 edition of the chart: /gallery/detail/22015

Condition Description
Minor restoration at top right corner, above St. Thomas inset and about Road Harbor inset.