655 x 820 mm., dissected and backed on contemporary linen, printed advert of maps sold by Letts, Son & Co. printed on verso, early outline and wash colour, folding into contemporary publishers binding of green cloth, ornate blind tooling to the covers, with ornate gilt central feature of the publisher’s to upper board, in good condition.
The map centres on the north pole and extends as far south as the whole of the British Isles. This chart was first published in 1855 by the Admiralty. It illustrates the improvements over the years and highlights in red the recent discoveries of the various nations. Letts, Son & Co., the map sellers, have affixed their label in the lower margin. The map appears to have been issued in preparation for the British Admiralty’s Arctic Expedition of 1875-76 led by Sir George Strong Ness. Ness was a highly rated naval officer who commanded the first ship to pass through the Suez Canal. He was particularly regarded as a leader of men and scientific explorer. Although the expedition failed to reach the North Pole, the coasts of Greenland and Ellesmere Island were explored at length. A sledging party set a new farthest north record of 83o 20′ 26″N. Provenance: Paul Orssich 1994; private collection of Rodney Shirley.