London, South Kensington
8 October 2014
GEORGE FRANKLAND (1800-1838)
[Van Dieman's Land.] Hobarton: G. Frankland, April 1837. Folding hand-coloured lithographic map (842 x 697mm), to the scale of 1¼ inches to 10 miles (1:506,880), dissected and mounted on linen, green silk ribbon border (occasional very faint browning), contained in the original green linen-covered slipcase, lithographed sheet 'Van Dieman's Land Schedule' pasted on one side with list of counties, hundreds and parishes (lithographic sheet stained and frayed at edges, a couple of minor chips and holes with associated loss of a few words, edges rubbed and lightly frayed, linen somewhat faded).
EXCEPTIONALLY RARE MAP OF THE FIRST GENERAL SURVEY OF TASMANIA. Frankland was appointed first assistant surveyor of Van Diemen's Land in 1826 and he arrived in the colony in July 1827. In March 1828, he was promoted to surveyor-general, and was charged by Lieutenant-Governor Sir George Arthur to undertake a full trigonometrical survey of the island. Preferring field work to being desk-bound, Frankland believed that exploration and discovery went hand-in-hand with cartographical surveying, and insisted that his surveyors keep careful journals of their observations, including those of natural history and of the native aboriginal peoples. He was severely criticised for his slow progress, but defended himself robustly by stating that the inaccuracies of earlier maps relating to settlers' claims meant excessive demands on his workload with the re-issuing of new confirmatory grant deeds in order to resolve numerous land disputes. By 1837, although the trigonometrical survey of Tasmania was incomplete, Frankland was able to publish the present map, which received Under-Secretary Robert William Hay's compliment: 'Your Map is by far the most valuable contribution that has been received at the Colonial Office from any of the Colonies during my time' and the ADB comments that 'his map remained the best for twenty years'. Frankland died the year after publication from an illness associated with influenza. FIRST ISSUE; a larger version was published in London and Hobart in 1839. ONLY THREE COPIES OF THIS MAP CAN BE TRACED SELLING AT AUCTION IN THE PAST 40 YEARS (ABPC/AE-online), AND ONLY 3 COPIES CAN BE TRACED IN INSTITUTIONS (2 copies in the State Library of Tasmania and one in the Mitchell Map Library, Sydney).
George Mercer (1772-1853), and thence by descent to the present owner. The Mercers of Gorthie are a Scottish family distinguished by its service in British colonial history, members of the family being prominent in military campaigns, civil administration and commerce in the Americas, Australia, India and the Far East in the 18th- and 19th-centuries. George Mercer had land concerns and investments in Tasmania.
Contact Client Service
New York +1 212 636 2000
London +44 (0)20 7839 9060
Asia +852 2760 1766
+44 (0)20 7389 2740
+44 (0)20 7389 2157
+44 (0)20 7389 3144
+44 (0)20 7389 2636
+44 (0)20 7389 2046
+44 (0)20 7389 2040
+44 (0)20 7752 3205
No VAT on hammer price or buyer's premium.
Specialist James Hyslop surveys some of the stunning natural marvels — from these gogottes to fossils and fool’s gold — offered in our Sculpted by Nature sale
The property developer describes his passion for stuffed animals, classical statuary and antique globes
The story behind a double portrait from the Barney A. Ebsworth Collection that’s being offered in London in March
From an Assyrian relief to a record-breaking swan decoy, Christie's specialists pick out their highlights from the last 12 months