DES BARRES, Joseph F. Wallet (1721-1824)
A Chart of Delawar[e] Bay with Soundings and Nautical Observations taken by Capt. Sir Andrew Snape Hammond of the Navy and others Composed and Published for The Use of Pilotage....
London: Published by J. F. W. Des Barres in 'The Atlantic Neptune', June 1st, 1779. Black and white copper engraving. Large repaired tear (12") from bottom edge, parallel to centerfold. 4" repaired split from bottom in centerfold. Thin, uneven margins. Plate size: 30 1/4 x 22 1/8 inches.
This is a fantastic sea chart of the Delaware coast from the 'The Atlantic Neptune' which is universally recognized as one of the most magnificent atlases ever made.
This superb sea chart, constructed for the use of the British Navy, shows the major part of the Delaware coast, from Rehobeth to Bombay Hook, as well as the opposing south New Jersey shore.
'The Atlantic Neptune' was the first great marine atlas, and one of the great achievements of eighteenth century cartography. When publication in England began in 1774, it contained over 250 charts and views of the North American and Canadian coasts. The charts were intensely detailed and contained both hydrographical and topographical details. The Neptune was compiled and published for the Royal Navy by Joseph F. W. Des Barres, a Swiss cartographer who joined the Royal American Regiment as a surveyor. Des Barres fought in the French and Indian wars and was enlisted to survey the Canadian coastline. While his fellow surveyor, Samuel Holland charted the New England coast, Des Barres mapped the shoreline of Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and the St. Lawrence River regions. In 1774, Des Barres returned to England where he compiled and published his monumental atlas; his dedication to the project was so strong that he published an updated version of the work every year until 1784. Des Barres' work was so superior to any other contemporary atlas that the maps were used as the standard charts of the East coast for over 50 years. The Neptune remains one of the most important atlases ever printed, its views and maps chart as aspect of the history of North America and now allow us to glimpse this land drastically changed by the passage of time.
Snyder, City of Independence , p. 271; Stevens 158.