Rare antique engraved chart of the Mole (breakwater) of Naples, published by William Heather in London.
The chart is oriented with northwest at the top. It includes soundings, some topographical features, anchorages, and currents.
The Mole of Naples was an important harbor in the 18th and 19th centuries and was a frequent artistic subject during this time; for instance, JMW Turner painted the Mole and its lighthouse on several occasions.
The charts from Heather's New Mediterranean Pilot . . . are extremely rare on the market. This is the first example of the chart we have ever seen.
This small chart comes from the first English attempt at a collection of ports of the Mediterranean, although the genre was well established in France, Italy, and Spain already. The first was published by Joseph Roux in Marseilles in 1764, with versions published in several Italian port cities.
The French and Italian versions were of relatively crude execution, but Heather’s version is notable for the finely engraved charts, many signed in monogram by the London engraver John Stephenson.