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Rare Plans and Harbor Charts of the Caribbean

Rare set of harbor charts, drawn from Henry Popple's 20-sheet map of the British Colonies in North America. French, British, and Spanish possessions are shown, including Cartagena, the island of Martinique, Barbados, and Porto Belo in northern Panama. This work originally appeared in Buache's rare Plans des Isle, Rades, et Ports de Plusieurs Lieux de l'Amerique.

The maps are very detailed, with the harbor and coastal charts showing numerous depth soundings and toponyms. The map of Barbados appears to divide the island up into parishes and shows and names numerous coastal features.

While the maker of this map is not formally identified, we infer from the initials (PB), the date of the map, the privilege, and the address on the map "Quay de la Megisserie au St. Espirit pres le Pont Neuf," that the maker must be Philippe Buache. He credits the design for this map on the inset charts which appear on the right side of Popple's 1733 Map of the British Empire in North America. Buache has evidently sought to make use of the Popple charts for a French audience, translating the English text, enlarging the maps to make them more useful for navigation, and adding a French mileage scale (for some). 

This is one of the earliest obtainable maps to incorporate the views from Popple's map.

Condition Description
Original hand-color. Some toning.
Philippe Buache Biography

Philippe Buache (1700-1773) was one of the most famous French geographers of the eighteenth century. Buache was married to the daughter of the eminent Guillaume Delisle and worked with his father-in-law, carrying on the business after Guillaume died. Buache gained the title geographe du roi in 1729 and was elected to the Academie des Sciences in the same year. Buache was a pioneering theoretical geographer, especially as regards contour lines and watersheds. He is best known for his works such as Considérations géographiques et physiques sur les découvertes nouvelles dans la grande mer (Paris, 1754).