London: Laurie & Whittle, 1794.
Sea chart. Uncolored copper plate engraving. Image measures 21" x 26.25".
This extensive sea chart of Southeast Asia extends from present-day Thailand down to the northern coasts of Sumatra and Borneo. Rhumb lines emanate from the center of the map, spreading out in every direction toward the highly detailed coastlines of the peninsula and its surrounding islands. The names of the states curve in accordance with their landforms, further contributing to the overall diamond-like composition of the map. Appropriately, if only coincidentally, this region was highly profitable for the British Empire in this period, as its dominance in world trade gave it effectual control of the trade between China, Siam, and its holdings in Malaysia and Borneo. Details such as soundings and sandbars demonstrate how well-traveled the area was and add to the map's lovely visual rhythm.
The map appeared in Laurie & Whittle's 1794 "Neptune Orientale." It is in good condition with full margins, some repair to top and left margins. Professionally lined with some off-setting.
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. This map is a beautiful example of their work.