Blunt 1835 chart of the North Atlantic Ocean


“Chart of the North Atlantic Ocean From the Equator to 65º North Latitude. According to the Latest Surveys & Observations.” New York: E. & G.W. Blunt, [1832]-35. Separately issued “blue back” chart; mounted to blue back paper and rolled. 36 x 47 1/4. Engraving. With original label for “John H. Wheeler. Mathematical Instrument Maker and Chart Seller. 220 Water Street. New York” on back. With considerable surface cracking and stains. Missing 3 x 4 section in lower left. Still legible and together.

SKU: 1-2804 Categories: ,


A rare example of a working blue-back sea chart by the E. & G.W. Blunt firm, one of the most important American chart producers of the nineteenth century, known particularly for their American Coast Pilot.  Edmund March Blunt, founder of the firm, published the first edition of Captain Lawrence Furlong’s American Coast Pilot in 1796, beginning his long career as a chartmaker.  He continued to issue editions of this sea pilot and also produced separate charts based first on other’s work, such as the U.S. government charts by F.R. Hassler and A.D. Basche, and later on his own surveys and surveys of his two sons, George William and Edmund.   About 1827, Blunt retired and the firm was carried on by his sons, who continued to issue some of the best American sea charts of the period.  This fine example of their output shows the Atlantic Ocean north of the Equator, from western Europe and Africa to America, showing the entire Gulf of Mexico and as far inland in North America as the Great Lakes and Hudson’s Bay.  Though examples of this chart would have been carried by many ships in the mid-nineteenth century, few would have survived.  Not only would such charts be subject to the usual wear from use on ship board, but it is traditional to destroy (rather than simply put aside) charts once replaced by updated versions, for inaccurate, out-of-date information was too dangerous to be left around for possible inadvertent use.  Ref.: Guthorn, United States Coastal Charts, p. 9ff.