Rare First State of Sayer's Map of Table Bay
Scarce chart of Table Bay and the Cape of Good Hope, published by Robert Sayer.
The route of the Salt River is shown entering the bay just to the east of Capetown, which is shown in detail with the fort, Company Gardens and the Gallows highlighted. Table Mountain is shown, flanked by Devil's Mount and Lyon's Mount.
In the bay the Anchoring Ground and Robben Island are surrounded by soundings and to the top left there is an inset engraving of A South View Of The Cape by Monsieur L'Abbé de la Caille.
While the later Sayer & Bennett and Laurie & Whittle editions appear on occasion, this first edition is very rare.
The chart includes a central compass rose oriented north to the left and there are two scales in Dutch miles and sea leagues.
The map is drawn from Joannes Van Keulen's earlier chart of 1753, published in the so-called Secret Atlas.
Laurie & Whittle refers to the partnership of Robert Laurie (1755?-1836) and James Whittle (1757-1818), engravers and map publishers. Both men were employed by Robert Sayer (ca. 1724-1794), one of the most prominent British publishers and map sellers of the eighteenth century. Sayer died in 1794 and his business was taken over by his assistants. The two worked together as Laurie & Whittle until 1812, when Laurie retired. They were especially known for publishing sea charts and maritime atlases. From 1812-1818, when he died, Whittle worked with Laurie’s son, Richard Holmes Laurie, as Whittle & Laurie. After 1818, the firm was known as R. H. Laurie, even though Richard died in 1858. Later, the firm was managed by Laurie’s draughtsman, Alexander George Findlay, and, later, Daniel and William Kettle.