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A Superb Antique Sea Chart of the Bahamas and South Florida.

Richly detailed, rare blueback sea chart covering the Bahamas, northern Cuba, South Florida, and the Florida Keys.  Imray's chart is unusual for its significant focus on the Bahamas in its inset maps, with very large plans of Nassau and New Providence.

The map is rich in bathymetric data, particularly in the soundings in the three insets of the Florida Keys.


From the top, clockwise, the map includes the following insets:

  • Anchorages at the West Side of Crooked Id.
  • New Providence &c.
  • Anchorage on the S.W. Side of Acklin Island
  • Nassau
  • Puerto de Las Nuevitas.
  • Sketch of Cardenas [Unsurveyed]
  • Havana
  • Tortugas Cay
  • Sketch of Matanzas [Unsurveyed]
  • Cay West
  • North-East Part of Florida Reef


The present blueback is rare; we find no other copies in RBH, OldMaps, nor OCLC.

We have had one other similarly rare Imray chart of roughly the same area:

Condition Description
Blueback sea chart. Some loose vertical folds flattened, one (that intersecting Key West) with a few neatly repaired small holes barely affecting the image. A small abrasion southeast of Great Exuma Island in the Bahamas.
James Imray & Son Biography

James Imray was a publisher specialized in nautical charts. He started one of the most successful blue-back chart-selling companies of the nineteenth century; it is still in business today. Imray’s father was a dyer and he was born in Spitalfields, London, an area known for its garment industry. James did not want to enter the garment trade, however, and instead apprenticed to Stationer William Lukyn in 1818. Imray began his business as a book publisher and seller; however, he shared premises with Robert Blachford, a chartseller. Imray entered into business with Robert’s successor, Michael. He turned the business into a success and bought Blachford out in 1846, publishing under the imprint of James Imray. In 1854, son James Frederick joined as a partner and the imprint changed to Imray & Son. They thrived thanks to targeted marketing and excellent compilation charts that focused on trade routes. The busines entered in a long decline after the death of James Sr. in 1870. In 1899, Imray & Son amalgamated with Norie & Wilson. This conglomerate was bought by the Laurie firm in 1904 and today the business trades as Imray, Laurie, Norie & Wilson.