Charles WILSON.

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Rare Chart of Puerto Rico & the Virgin Islands
[London, 1884]

Puerto Rico/ Virgin Islands.  WILSON, Charles [London: 1884]  West Indies.  25 ¼ x 37 ½ inches.  Lithograph mounted on original blue backing.  Lightly toned, some soiling, mended 5-inch split at right, still very good for a working chart.                        

Rare, English chart, among the very few we see on the market to focus directly on Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands from the second half of the 19th century.  In addition to the expected nautical data, the chart also renders the interior topography in considerable details.  Depths are provided in great detail particularly in the Virgin Islands. Among the insets along the top are detailed charts of San Juan Harbor, Mayaguez Bay and Port de Guanica on Puerto Rico; and of St. Thomas Harbor, Road Harbour on Tortola, and Christiansted on St. Croix.

Charles Wilson (1807-1882), the son of a British colonial officer and an Indian princess, was a leading publisher of nautical charts in London.  He entered the trade in the employ of Norie and Wilson (a family relation) but then took over the firm in 1840 on Norie’s retirement.  The firm eventually partnered with the other great maritime publishers, the Imray company, which continues in business to the present day as Imray, Laurie, Norie & Wilson Ltd.


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