Chart of the Coast of China, 1865

Chart of the Coast of China from Canton to Nanking with Particular Plans of the Principal Harbours Drawn from Admiralty Surveys by Captains R. Collinson, H. Kellett and Sir Edward Belcher, R.N., 1865
I. Purdy, Author
Fleet Street, London, 1865
Black and white engraving
Professionally conserved
Professionally conserved, cleaned and backed with new archival blue backing. Some staining and paper damage along top and bottom edge. Otherwise, good condition and crisp imagery throughout. The large nautical chart appears to have been used at sea given the nature of wear to paper. Technical challenges in producing a high resolution image of such a large nautical chart have resulted in certain artifacts in the attached photograph such as yellow horizontal bands that are not present in the map.
75 × 39 inches
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    This Admiralty Survey chart describing  in great detail the coast of China and all of the coast of Formosa is a rare 19th century, engraved, two toned nautical chart representing new surveys that build on the original survey work done by Captains Collinson and Kellett, and Sir Edward Belcher R.N. between 1840-1850 that for their time provided western navies with some of the earliest nautical surveys of the east Coast of China. In Collinson and Kellett's 1845 survey, also engraved by Isaac Purdy and published by H. Colburn, the coast from Canton to Nanking is drawn in outline only, with certain cities labeled but the chart is lacking any geographic details or marine soundings. At this date, the Chinese government was not welcoming extensive exploration by foreign powers.  By 1865, the West had gained a political foothold in China that  resulted in new access for performing extensive coastal and inland surveys. The survey work by Collinson, Kellett and Belcher as published in 1865 therefore contributes substantially to the earlier Collinson and Kellett foundation as an aid to navigation. This extra large and large scale nautical chart depicts the length of the coast of China and labels each port along with nine (9) detailed plans of the principal  Chinese harbors  showingw depth soundings and topographical details. The mouth of the Yang-Tse River and smaller inland rivers are shown demonstrating that as of 1865 navigation by the British Admiralty proceeded inland along these waterways. The chart also shows Formosa with the same level of detail. 

     I have located no examples of this chart except one at the National Library of Australia.  Notable among scarce modern bibliographic references to this chart is a citation in Charting The Pearl River Delta, 2015 the exhibition catalog of the exhibit mounted by the Hong Kong Maritime Museum.  The chart in the Hong Kong Maritime Museum is noted as lent by the National Library of Australia.

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