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Description

First state of John Arrowsmith's map of the Asiatic Archipelago, including a large inset map of Singapore.

Centered on the Philippines and Borneo, the map shows a number of different seasonal passages through the region to Hong Kong and Macao.

The map comes shortly after the conclusion of the Opium Wars, at a time when trade with Hong Kong and Singapore was growing at a tremendous rate.

The inset of Singapore is accompanied by a lengthy annotation, describing  "Singapore being granted to the British by the Sultan of Jehor on 1819 . . . as well as the Seas, Straits, and Islands lying within 10 miles of its coasts", and concluding with the observation that "The chief importance of Singapore is as a commercial emporium."

A second inset shows Labuan Island, as surveyed by Edward Belcher and D. M. Gordon.  Above Labuan is a note describing the volcanic eruption of Tambora.  The 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora was one of the most powerful in recorded history, 

John Arrowsmith Biography

John (1790-1873) operated his own independent business after his uncle, Aaron Arrowsmith, died. After 1839, John moved into the Soho premises of his uncle and cousins. John enjoyed considerable recognition in the geography and exploration community. Like Aaron, John was a founder member of the RGS and would serve as its unofficial cartographer for 43 years. Several geographical features in Australia and Canada are named after him. He died in 1873 and the majority of his stock was eventually bought by Edward Stanford, who co-founded the Stanford’s map shop that is still open in Covent Garden, London today.