|Method||Copper engraved with early hand colour|
|Published||London, Printed for Robt. Sayer Map and Printseller at the Golden Buck in Fleet Street [c.1755]|
|Dimensions||550 x 970 mm|
A rare and impressive example of Robert Sayer's 1755 separately published wall map of the world in two hemispheres, with early hand colour. Printed over two sheets, and joined at centre, this example appears to have been bound into an atlas or extra-illustrated volume. The title of the map advertises it as having been significantly improved from the early works of other publishers and cartographers. The northernmost reaches of the American west coast are still uncharted, listed here as 'Parts Unknown,' as is the east coast of Australia. The top end of Australia, here 'New Holland' is putatively joined to Papua New Guinea and referred to as a separate region under the title 'Carpentaria.' Tasmania's northern coastline is as yet unexplored, and the island itself retains the Dutch name 'Dimens Land.' At the extreme left of the Western Hemisphere, New Zealand's western coastline is partially charted. The Antarctic region, left entirely blank and at this point completely unknown, carries a message that the inhabitants, if such exist, spend their time in persistent Night when the Sun is in the Tropic of Cancer, and in persistent Day when it is in the Tropic of Capricorn. At the other pole, the opposite condition is listed for those who dwell in the Arctic. Russian exploration in the Bering Strait is marked, while Greenland's treatment is confused. In the Western Hemisphere, it is depicted as a peninsula attached to the top of Canada, while in the Eastern, it is shown as two separate territories, an island marked 'Greenland,' and a stretch of coastline marked 'Groenland.'
Coastlines and the divisions of different countries and regions are outlined in hand colour, and the voyages of Anson and Dampier are marked as dashed lines. Anson's circumnavigation, completed only a decade before the issuing of this map, had a significant impact on British cartography in the era before Cook. His capture of the Spanish treasure ship Nuestra Señora de Covadonga not only earned Anson and the Crown over one million pieces of eight, but also copies of the Spanish admiralty's charts of the Pacific, adding numerous islands including the Anson Archipelago to British maritime knowledge. Trade winds, tides, monsoons, the paths of hurricanes and tornadoes, and other navigational and meteorological points of interest are also marked and illustrated. Areas of dotted or crossed lines depict reefs, bays, and shoals, including Deep Bay off the western coast of Australia, where Dampier, in 1688, became the first Englishman to survey the new continent. His studies of Australian flora and fauna were to have a profound effect on later British expeditions to New Holland. In the four corners of the map, smaller circles show the North and South polar regions, as well as the Hemispheres as illuminated by the Sun during the Summer and Winter Solstices. The remaining spaces are filled with commentary and notes on cartography, geography, and history more generally, as well as comments about the Antipodes, the composition of the globe in square miles, and peculiarities of the Polar regions.
Robert Sayer (1725-1794) was a prolific English print and map seller, publisher, and engraver. Through his brother's wife, he became the manager of the printing house of John Overton, gradually taking over the business, with a concentration on atlases, maritime charts, cartography, and accounts of travel, exploration, and navigation. Sayer is also remembered for his engravings after paintings by Johan Zoffany, and the pair grew to be lifelong friends. Sayer was succeeded on his death by Laurie and Whittle.
Condition: Central vertical join and old vertical folds. Old tear repair to bottom of right hand fold with minor adhesive staining. Time toning to sheet. Otherwise strong impression with early outline colour.