Antiquarian Auctions

SA Auction #100 begins on 14 Jul 2022

US Auction #12 begins on 03 Aug 2022

John Barrow

Map of the coast of Africa

From Table Bay at the Cape of Good Hope to Saldanha Bay

Published: Cadell & Davies, London, 1804

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This attractive map of the Cape West coast was published for John Barrow - it is based on one of the few VOC maps (by Johann Frederici) that were left in Cape Town when the British captured the colony in 1795. It is wonderful historic record of the farms and roads at that time.

John Barrow travelled extensively in South Africa in 1797 & 1798. His General Chart of the Colony of the Cape of Good Hope was published in 1801 the first volume of his book: Account of Travels into the Interior of Southern Africa. The book's maps introduced a new standard or printed maps of the region.

In the second volume of the book, published in 1804, he included maps of parts of the Colony, e.g. the Cape Peninsula, False, Bay, Knysna and, inter alia, this map of a strip of the Cape west coastal . Although Barrow does not acknowledge his source, this map draws heavily on a VOC manuscript map by Johan Frederici (Caart van de westelijke kust van Afrika ...  1778; Dutch National Archives 4.Topo.15.15). 

This is attractively outline-coloured map was engrave on a copper plate. The map is of historical interest and importance. It displays the wagon roads of the time to Saldanha Bay, the sources of water, the farms (some now well known) and numerous farmers names.  

The annotation to the north (left) of Saldanha Bay explains that Witte Klip (a large granite outcrop) is a 'fine spring of water that might be conveyed in pipes to Hoetjies Bay'. Some time later, local farmers would argue about water right, the village became known as Twisfontein (dispute spring) and then, on resolution of the dispute, Vredenburg (town of peace) 

This map is in very good condition; there is no offsetting, the map has been cleaned and de-acidified in spring water and sunlight - there is minimal residual foxing. A couple of small margin tears have been professionally restored. The page has been closely trimmed at upper and lower border; in order to facilitate framing, we have increased the upper and lower margins by reversibly applying Japanese Tissue Paper. The imprint is crisp and does justice to Samuel Neele, the highly regarded engraver.

References

Norwich #228; not in Tooley; http://libweb5.princeton.edu/visual_materials/maps/websites/africa/barrow/barrow.html 

This attractive map was produced for one of the famous pioneer travellers in the Cape, who also made a significant contribution to the mapping of the region. It surely will be admired and valued by anyone with an interest in the history of the Cape West Coast. This map featured recently in an exhibition held at Princeton University. 

  • Overall Condition: Very good
  • Size: 69.5cm x 24.3cm


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