London: Laurie and Whittle, 1794.
Hand colored copper plate engraving. Image measures 23" x 27.5".
This beautifully hand colored map of Southeast Asia depicts from Persia (Afghanistan) east as far as Macao to include the Indian subcontinent, Thailand, Vietnam, Burma (Myanmar), Malaysia, Sumatra and part of Borneo and China. It notes the various kingdoms and territories of the time including Pegu (Burma) Siam (Thailand), Tonkin and Chochin (Vietnam) and Camboja (Cambodia). Further South, the Straits of Singapore are labeled. Singapore Island however, is not labeled but is recognizable. The partitions of the Mogul Empire, the dominions of the East India Company as well as French and Dutch possessions are color-coded. The map labels numerous towns, cities and roads with exquisitely detailed topography including coastlines, rivers and mountains. Interesting annotations at a few places read "Cancar or Ponthiamas a Little Kingdom founded about 50 years ago by Kiang-tse a Chinese Mercht" near the western coast of Cambodia, and "Mountains inhabited by the Wild Nation called Ke-Moy" in Vietnam.
This map, by Thomas Jefferys was made from actual surveys made by Major James Rennel and was published by Laurie and Whittle in Thomas Kitchin's 1794 "General Atlas". The map is in good condition with reinforcements along the original centerfold. Some edge wear and verso repair. Original plate mark is visible. Small portion of margin near title is repaired with portion filled in. Overall toning and minor foxing.
Thomas Kitchin (1719-1784) was an English engraver and map-maker. His maps and atlases of England earned him the position of hydrographer to the King.
Robert Laurie (c. 1755 - 1836) and James Whittle (1757-1818) were London-based map and atlas publishers active in the late 18th and early 19th century. Their firm combined Laurie's engraving skills with Whittle's social contacts and print sales experience. Together, they published numerous maps and atlases, often enlisting prominent cartographers such as Kitchin, Faden, Jefferys and others to update and modify their plates.