Spanish Sea Chart of the Malacca Strait and Environs -- Singapore
Fine Spanish nautical chart, illustrating the Straits of Malacca and northwestern Borneo, published by the Spanish Hydrographical Office in 1864.
The map credits the work of modern British and Dutch Surveys.
From "Pedra Branca" north of Bintan Island, the two recommended routes to Hong Kong during the different season are shown.
Singapore appears prominently at the southern tip of Malaysia, with extensive soundings and sailing details.
The chart is apparently quite rare. This is the first example we have seen on the market.
The Dirección de Hidrografía, or the Directorate of Hydrographic Works, was established in 1797. Its roots were in the Casa de Contratación, founded in 1503 in Sevilla, which housed all the charts of the Spanish Empire and oversaw the creation and maintenance of the padrón real, the official master chart. The Casa, now in Cadiz, was shuttered in 1790, but Spain still needed a hydrographic body. In response, the Dirección was created in 1797. One of its first projects was the publication of charts from the Malaspina Expedition (1789-1794). The Dirección oversaw not only publication, but also surveying. The Dirección was abolished in the early twentieth century, when their work was distributed to other organizations.