A very rare sea chart of the Atlantic by John Seller. Includes almost all of South America as well as large parts of North America, Africa and Southern Europe. The map is based on the four-sheet sea chart by J. Thornton, W. Fisher, J. Seller, J. Colson and J. Atkinson from 1678. It survives in only one example in a composite atlas of charts collected by Samuel Pepys. The composite atlas is now residing in his library at Magdalene Collage, Cambridge (see Burden, P.D.: The Mapping of North America No. 506).
Top left the royal coat of arms of Charles II, in South America a cartouche flanked by two natives, in Africa the figurative title cartouche surrounded by lions, elephants and a dromedary. In the Atlantic a compass rose surrounded by rhumb lines.
The map was engraved by John Seller and probably first appeared in his Atlas Maritimus in 1686. In second state shown here, the title cartouche was supplemented by the names Jer Seller & Cha Price, which were later removed in a third state when the copper plate was reused. Jeremiah Seller was the son of John Seller. He worked together with Charles Price as a publisher and map maker.
|Title||The Western Ocean By Jer Seller and Cha Price|
|Publisher, Year||Jeremiah Seller & Charles Price, London, 1686 (1710)|
|Plate Size||43.0 x 52.4 cm (16.9 x 20.6 inches)|
|Sheet Size||46.5 x 58.0 cm (18.3 x 22.8 inches)|
John Seller was an English map and chart maker, a map and chart seller and an instrument maker. He published maps, atlases, almanacs and astronomical charts, as well as the first significant practical manuals for sailors. In March 1671 he was appointed Hydrographer of the King. Seller had a son Jeremiah, occasionally also John jr., who had learned from him and also worked as a cartographer, publisher and map maker in a collaboration with Charles Price.
The trade in nautical charts was dominated by the Dutch until the second half of the 17th century. Seller often used Dutch nautical charts and replaced the original title with an English one. Between 1671 and 1675 Seller published the first four books of The English Pilot. During the fifth book in 1677 he ran into financial difficulties and entered into a partnership with John Thornton, William Fisher, John Colson and James Atkinson. But this partnership was short-lived and the consortium took over most of Seller's map business. The English Pilot was very popular and appeared in many editions until the end of the 18th century. Around 1700 it was published by Thornton and Fisher, after Thornton's death in 1708 his son Samuel took over the business. But he died shortly after, and the stock was acquired by Mount and Page.
John Seller's most important atlases appeared in London with the following titles:
- The English Pilot, 1671-77
- The Coasting Pilot, 1672-94
- Atlas Maritimus, 1675-82
- A Pocket Book, 1676-77
- Atlas Anglicanus, 1675-81
- Atlas caelestis, 1680
- Hydrographia Universalis, 1695
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