Haro and Rosario Straits, Surveyed by Capt. G.H. Richards & The Officers of H.M.S. Plumper, 1858-9

Haro and Rosario Straits, Surveyed by Capt. G.H. Richards & The Officers of H.M.S. Plumper, 1858-9 [North America West Coast]
black and white engraving
Unrestored original condition
professionally flattened, otherwise as found, typical wear for a 19th c. nautical chart used for navigation, edges chipped, some staining on front and back, paper lightly toned on front, on verso some dark toning, blue ink stamp of seller on front, orange paper label attached to back with has some wear
27 × 40.5 inches
Sale Status: 

This 19th c. English Admiralty chart, with corrections to 1865, documents the contested border through the Pacific Ocean straits on the North American West Coast between the United States and Canada, off of the coast of Washington State.  The geography and nautical location currently is known as the Haro Strait (Canada) and the Rosario Strait (United States). The chart has two seller's marks that add to its historical interest. The first seller's label in the form of a blue ink stamp on the front of the chart is of  "Charles Pace, Chronometer Maker" who relocated from London to San Francisco where he founded a navigational warehouse c. 1862 that he owned and operated until 1892.  Louis Weule purchased the business from him, and renamed it after himself in 1906 after the San Francisco fire of that year. The second seller's mark is an orange paper label affixed to the back of the chart  of "Edward Dillon, Chronometer Maker, 508 Battery Street, San Francisco. Opposite the Custom House and Post Office."  He was known as a highly skilled American instrument maker who apprenticed in New York and migrated after the American Civil War to San Francisco. Thus, Dillon opened his shop in San Francisco in late 1865 or thereafter. See, Horological Times, 1981. The San Francisco Business Directory of 1880 still lists Edward Dillon at this address.The chart on offer is published in the large format  intended for use in navigation. While later editions were printed folded and bound in with reports to the U.S. Congress, the chart on offer is an early edition sold to mariners. The chart has some instances of wear around the edges, toning of the paper and markings on the reverse. Its condition is consistent with a chart that might have been used on board and  shown some care. The presence of two sellers' marks suggests that some of Charles Pace's inventory was purchased by Edward Dillon for resale.

The chart has five  pictorial vignettes  drawn in a vertical format at the top right of the chart, titled from top to bottom: Narrow Island, View D;  Galiano Island; View A Kelp;  View B Mt. Constitution with Ruffin Island; and View C Galiano Island and Mt. Parks. The topography of the islands in the straits is shown with  mountains drawn with hachures and peak heights noted. Lights are shown in yellow with a red flash. Soundings are measured in fathoms. There is a list of plans by the Admiralty or other staff for specific locales within the region shown on this chart. A history of the Admiralty surveys of the straits appears below the  chart's title with the dates of earlier surveys by the Admiralty from 1841. The geographic and nautical context of this chart is shown with Washington State at the far bottom of the chart. A portion of Vancouver Island is shown, the Strait of Georgia and the Juan De Fuca Straits are drawn in fine detail. The chart is rich with historical and current information for land and sea.

This is a scarce chart of which I have not located other examples.

The Chart belongs to the cartography and nautical mapping of Vancouver Island and the Pacific Northwest. This example of the chart with its seller's ink stamp and paper lable also provides a window on the attraction to San Francisco of skilled watch and chronometer makers who moved both from London and the East Coast of the United States to San Francisco, California in order to participate in the growing maritime trade conducted there by supplying precision chronometers for navigating.

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Published Location Freeform: 
London at the Admiralty