Tofino de San Miguel

Plano Geometrico de la Bahia de Algeciras y Gibraltar


Plano Geometrico de la Bahia de Algeciras y Gibraltar


Scarce original Spanish antique nautical chart from Captain Vincente Tofiño de San Miguel y Van der Walle (1732-1795), Director of the Spanish Naval Academy in Cadiz. This old sea chart of the Bay of Gibraltar and Algeciras was one of 47 published in 1786 as part of the first scientific Spanish sea atlas: 'Atlas Maritimo de España' (Maritime Atlas of Spain) by the Dirección de Hidrografía, Spain's equivalent to the U.S. Coast Survey. Prior to the late 18th century Spain jealously guarded nautical maps and charts of its possessions, especially so for its overseas colonies.

Attractive title cartouche at upper left contains a legend that identifies several dozen landmarks in and around the Bay of Gibraltar.

Unlike other 18th century antique nautical charts that focus primarily on the coastal outline around the bay of Gibraltar, this old sea chart is notable for the extensive detailed engraving that is used to illustrate inland topographical details. This detail on inland areas, which is also evident in contemporary British charts from the same era (e.g. Faden), is likely related to the emphasis on land forces used in battles that occurred in this strategic location. During the siege of British occupied Gibraltar by Spanish and French forces during 1779 - 1783 , Spain and its allies are said to have fielded 35,000 ground troops in addition to the tens of thousands of sailors and marines aboard its naval fleet (80,000 spectators are said to have watched the grand assault of 1782 from locations in the surrounding hills).

CREATOR: Tofino de San Miguel



BODY OF WATER: Strait of Gibraltar

CONDITION: Very Good  Wide margins. Only notable flaw is some age-toning around the single horizontal fold.



SIZE: 21 " x 31 "




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