Finely made hand drawn map of the area around Cartagena, Spain, likely drawn by a skilled French military engineer.
The focal points of the map are the harbor and fortifications of Cartagena, with numerous Forts, Batteries, Chateaus, the main Arsenal, Magazine and the fortifications of the town meticulously shown in red. The map also hundreds of soundings. and the main quay in Port de Galeres.
The map is elegantly drawn on a pencil grid, which can still be seen at the bottom left and elaborately finished in fine wash colors, with a colorful compass rose. The annotations on the back note that it is Map Number 9 and was likely part of a bound set of maps. While ordinarily this sort of map might be attributed to an engineering student, the size, elegance of presentation and the numbering are more indicative of an elaborate presentation piece, likely commissioned as a gift or tribute to a senior commanding officer in the French Navy.
The present chart was likely drawn during or immediately after the Seven Years War.
In 1728, Cartagena was made the headquarters of the Spanish Navy's Maritime Department of the Mediterranean. As part of its role as Naval headquarters, the fortifications of the city was significantly improved and a modern castle was created in place of the Moorish Kasbah, along with multiple barracks and a huge arsenal. In 1757, during the Seven Years' War, a French naval force was forced to take shelter in the port. The French dispatched a squadron of ships commanded by the Marquis Du Quesne to aid the naval force at Cartagena, but Du Quesne's ships were attacked and defeated by a British squadron under Henry Osborn at the Battle of Cartagena.