Imray 1870 Chart of the Coast of Colombia and Caribbean Sea


R. Owen and E. Barnett. “Chart of the Coast of Colombia and Caribbean Sea.” London: James Imray & Son, 1870. Separately issued “blueback” chart; mounted to blue paper and rolled. 39 x 50. Engraving. Long tear at right, but else very good.


A rare, working blueback chart showing the northern coast of South America as far east the mouth of the Orinoco River, along to show the entire Panama isthmus, and then around to the Mosquito Coast of Guatemala.  Also shown are the southern islands and eastern islands of the West Indies, around to Trinidad.  Charts like this were intended to be used at sea, and so they were laid onto a blue backing paper and rolled for ease of storage and use. 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it is traditional to destroy (rather than simply put aside) charts once replaced by updated versions, for inaccurate, out-of-date information was too dangerous to be left around for possible inadvertent use.  The detail of the coast shown is impressive.  Also included are inset charts of over dozen of the major ports in the area shown.